CARLSBAD — The Power of Vision, a coalition of opponents of the power plant proposed by NRG West on North County’s coastline, gathered Sept. 29 to show the growing regional opposition for the project.
Francine Busby and Solana Beach Councilmember Dave Roberts, both of whom are running for Congress in the 50th District, also announced their opposition to the project at the event. Roberts’ opposition was previously lodged from his position as part of the Solana Beach Council.
Elected officials of the cities of Vista, Solana Beach and Del Mar have reportedly written letters to the city of Carlsbad citing opposition to the proposed 540-megawatt power plant due to its significant regional impacts to the environment, coastal resources and the region’s visual resources. NRG is proposing to build the power plant built on Carlsbad Boulevard just north of Cannon Road on a 95-acre site, the same location as the existing Encina Power Station, which has been operating on the North County’s coastline for more than 50 years.
“The city of Carlsbad is very thankful for the support from our neighbors, the cities of Vista, Del Mar and Solana Beach,” Carlsbad City Councilman Mark Packard said. “Their support demonstrates that this project negatively affects the region as a whole.”
In addition to Vista, Solana Beach and Del Mar’s opposition, environmental groups such as the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club have come out against building another power plant on North County’s coastline, citing the plant’s incompatibility with California’s renewable energy goals. Further, the San Diego Highway Development Association announced it would actively oppose the power plant project should it conflict with the widening of Interstate 5. The group took this position after learning of Caltrans’ concerns with the project and NRG’s refusal to incorporate a widened I-5 into its project plans. The San Diego Highway Development Association has been serving the County since 1935 by overseeing the planning and development of infrastructure in San Diego including freeways, highways and streets.
“The diversity of the groups coming out in opposition to the proposed power plant shows the wide-ranging impacts the project will have on the San Diego region,” said Julie Baker, Power of Vision’s coalition coordinator. “We, along with other opponents, are showing a united front to the California Energy Commission that this proposed power plant is unacceptable.”