Mayor Bill Brand Calls on City Residents to Join OhmConnect and #PowerDownForGood to shut down the AES Redondo Beach power plant
OAKLAND, Calif., May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — OhmConnect, the world’s leading residential energy flexibility provider, today launched a campaign in partnership with the City of Redondo Beach to shut down the AES Redondo Beach power plant. The 68-year-old gas-fired peaker plant, which incongruously sits on a public beach, has long been a blight to residents and visitors.
"This power plant is a relic of a different era and needs to be shut down permanently," said Mayor Bill Brand. "With OhmConnect, we have an opportunity to take action by powering down and preventing this power plant from turning on and polluting our community."
The campaign, with the social media hashtag #PowerDownForGood, invites residents to help keep the AES power plant from turning on and polluting the ocean and air. Participants will receive alerts to power down when electricity is in high demand, which is when peaker plants like AES are called upon to make up the shortfall.
"When you save energy between 4-9 p.m., especially this summer, you help keep peaker plants like the AES Redondo Beach from turning on," said OhmConnect CEO Cisco DeVries. "Our long-term goal is to eliminate the need for peaker plants entirely by giving people the power to reduce stress on the grid and get paid for saving electricity."
As part of the campaign, participants will receive a $25 sign-up bonus just for joining OhmConnect’s free energy alert service. In addition to helping shut down peaker plants, participants will also get paid for the electricity they save during energy-saving events, which is made possible by selling the unused power back to the grid.
The Redondo Beach City Council voted unanimously to approve the #PowerDownForGood campaign last week. At a previous meeting, during which the City Council voted to partner with OhmConnect, one council member signed up for the free service on his computer, showing how easy it is to participate in the free program.
The AES Redondo Beach power plant has been slated to close since 2010, when the state water board approved phasing out power plants that use ocean water to cool their operations. These power plants suck in ocean water and then drain the heated water back into the ocean, killing wildlife and damaging the local ecology. That’s in addition to spewing smoke that diminishes air quality for residents and contributes to global warming.
The AES Redondo Beach power plant was supposed to be shuttered on Dec. 31, 2020, but its closure has twice been postponed by state officials citing the threat of summer blackouts as the reason to keep the prehistoric plant on standby.
"There’s another way to solve the problem," said CEO DeVries. "Instead of generating more fossil fuel-powered electricity at the cost of air and water quality, we can instead voluntarily reduce energy use at peak times to make the AES Redondo Beach unnecessary. That’s what #PowerDownForGood is all about."
Even AES has expressed a desire to shut down the plant if they are permitted by the state.
"AES has recently announced they are committed to finally retiring the Redondo Beach power plant at the end of 2023, unless it’s postponed again by state officials," said Redondo Beach City Attorney Mike Webb. "Joining #PowerDownForGood is something we can all do to make a real difference in a concrete and measurable way to protect our environment, move towards a greener future, and save money at the same time."
Even if you don’t live in Redondo Beach, you can still join the campaign and contribute, due to the interconnected nature of California’s electric grid. There are almost 80 gas-fired peaker plants like AES Redondo Beach throughout California that could turn on this summer and spew pollution if electricity demand during peak periods is not reduced.
"We encourage everyone who feels passionate about the state’s natural resources to participate in the #PowerDownForGood campaign," said Mayor Brand. "And we thank OhmConnect for their partnership in this important community effort."
#PowerDownForGood video: PowerDownForGood Redondo Beach
OhmConnect, winner of the 2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award, helps hundreds of thousands of customers manage their at-home electricity and rewards them for smarter energy use. The company pays its customers for saving electricity when the grid is stressed and likely to utilize dirty power, unlocking clean, affordable, and reliable energy. With more than $17 million in rewards paid to its customers, OhmConnect is making a future of 100% clean energy accessible to everyone. Customers of the three major California electricity utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) – as well as Con Edison in New York, can sign up with OhmConnect for free at ohmconnect.com. Follow OhmConnect on Twitter @OhmConnect, read the OhmConnect blog or check them out on Facebook and LinkedIn.