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Morro Bay City Council approves agreement with Vistra on future of old power plant site

Exhaust stacks
Posted at 12:50 PM, Jun 11, 2021

The City of Morro Bay is moving forward with an agreement with Vistra Corp. regarding the future of the old Morro Bay Power Plant.

The city council unanimously approved the agreement at a special meeting on Wednesday.

It requires Vistra to demolish the old power plant by 2028 or pay the city $3 million. It also opens up the opportunity for the energy company to potentially redevelop the site into a battery storage facility.

In addition, the agreement allows the city to purchase easements on the property that are needed for the Water Reclamation Facility project for just $1.

City officials say the agreement gives them the opportunity to engage the community in discussions about the future of the power plant site, including whether the landmark three exhaust stacks should remain in place or be demolished along with the rest of the buildings. According to the agreement, the city must notify Vistra by the end of 2022 if the stacks should be preserved.

Officials point out the agreement does not guarantee the redevelopment of the site into a battery storage facility. They say the proposed project still must go through an environmental and planning review process before public hearings with the planning commission and city council, and the community will have a chance to provide input.

For details of the agreement, click here. For more information on the battery storage project, click here.