The South Bay Power Plant will stop operating — for good — at the end of the year.

The waterfront power plant in Chula Vista is no longer needed to guarantee local electricity reliability and will be demolished once needed permits are in hand, likely in about two years.

In May, the Environmental Health Coalition claimed the plant would be shuttered this year because it wouldn’t get a needed permit to discharge into San Diego Bay. We labeled that claim misleading, because it was not a foregone conclusion.

Back then, the California Independent System Operator, the agency responsible for maintaining state electricity reliability, hadn’t yet decided whether the plant would be needed in 2011.

It decided in late September that it actually would be needed, prompting us to post this update.

But it has changed its mind. Cal ISO reconsidered last week, saying the South Bay plant isn’t needed to guarantee electric reliability. Power consumption peaked during the end-of-September heat spell, Cal ISO said. And that record-high peak was lower than expected. (Both units at South Bay ran during the heat spell.)

David Byford, spokesman for Dynegy, the power plant’s Houston-based operator, said the plant will not generate power in 2011. Dynegy will begin applying for more than a dozen permits needed to demolish the plant, he said, and begin tearing it down around 2012, a process likely to take two years. That will open the bay front for redevelopment and culminate the Environmental Health Coalition’s long fight to remove the plant.

We stand behind the original Fact Check because at the time, the coalition presented one of many possible outcomes as guaranteed fact. If the organization’s claim were to be printed today, it would be true.

Email new Fact Check suggestions to What claim should we explore next?

Please contact Rob Davis directly at or 619.325.0529 and follow him on Twitter:

Rob Davis

Rob Davis was formerly a senior reporter for Voice of San Diego.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.