Economic Planning Project for Diablo Canyon Power Plant Closure


Updated: April 17, 2018

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Our Economic Future 

In June 2016, Pacific Gas & Electric Company announced the permanent closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), the last nuclear power plant in the western United States. For the last 30 years, DCPP has been the largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County; its impacts are far reaching, extending into every aspect of our economy – approximately $1 billion annually. Beginning in 2024, the closure will be the single largest economic impact in the County’s history.

Economic Planning 

In partnership with the local government, educational offices, chambers of commerce, and businesses, the EVC is managing the economic planning project with two phases: 

PHASE 1: Regional Economic & Fiscal Impact Analyses, that includes economic impacts of the closure on our local communities.

PHASE 2: Economic Strategic & Implementation Plan, develop a strategy to offset the closure’s negative impacts , increase the region’s resiliency, and help diversify the region’s economy.


Stakeholders must work collaboratively to mitigate closures impacts on citizens and local businesses. The EVC is committed to managing San Luis Obispo County and the City of Santa Maria. 


Legislative Support

Senator William Monning introduced California Senate Bill 1090 to require the Public Utilities Commission to approve funding for the community impact mitigation settlement and employee retention program proposed by PG&E.

SB 1090 will help address regional impacts of the DCPP closure by minimizing affects to local school districts
and residents and by maintaining services for the community. 

The bill aims to comprehensively address the complex components associated with decommissioning the Diablo Canyon Power Plant by providing the following:

• Employee retention
• Community mitigation funding
• Greenhouse gas-free energy replacement
• The health, safety, and economic vitality of the region and the state 


Our Mission 

The EVC mission is to stimulate the economic vitality of San Luis Obispo County, generate jobs, increase investment in the community and promote the start-up, growth and attraction of businesses.

“The success of our region’s resiliency through economic changes hinges on the success of our collaboration and shared ownership of our regional challenges and opportunities.” Michael Manchak

The EVC has an active role in helping the region focus on the future and establish an Economic Strategy, building off of the efforts we set forth in the County’s Economic Strategy which was last updated in 2015. 


Economic Strategizing 

San Luis Obispo County and its cities, as well as the City of Santa Maria are planning for the changes due to the Diablo Canyon closure. We are also looking to establish long-term solutions that diversify the economy beginning in 2019. The EVC played a vital role in planning and implementing the County’s 2011 economic strategy, and we are engaging with stakeholders by planning for the future. This economic planning effort will advance our previous countywide strategy by building off of our current clusters of industry and help us to identify new ones. 

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 Updated: June 27, 2017

Key Points

  • In June of 2016, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) publically announced the permanent closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) in 2024 and 2025. This represents the last nuclear power plant in operation on the west coast.
  • The plant closure will be followed by a decommissioning process that is anticipated to take approximately ten years.
  • DCPP has been the single largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County for the past 30 years and currently employs approximately 1,500 employees with reported average salaries of approximately $157,000 per year.
  • In response to the announced closure, the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), a non-profit economic development organization serving all of San Luis Obispo County, will manage the overall economic planning of the closure.
  • In its role, the EVC will select and oversee one or more consulting firms to help the community mitigate the negative impact to our local economy by completing an economic impact study of effects caused by the impending closure and developing in collaboration with community stakeholders a regional economic strategy.
  • EVC released a Request for Qualifications from expert consulting firms in spring of 2017. Of the twenty proposals submitted, five firms have been invited to interview, and the selected firm(s) will be retained in summer of 2017.
  • The consulting firm(s) hired will develop:
1) Economic and Fiscal Impact Analyses;
2) Countywide Strategy and Implementation Plan.


Timeline and Action Items

The estimated timeline for the this two-phase project is as follows:

Phase 1
  • Spring 2017: Review proposals for Economic Analyses and Strategic and Implementation Plan
  • Summer 2017: Select consultants
  • Winter 2018: Complete Economic & Fiscal Analyses
Phase 2
  • Spring 2018: Begin Economic Strategic and Implementation Plan
  • Winter 2019: Complete Economic Strategic and Implementation Plan
More specifically, the following action items will be completed during the two phases:
  • Phase 1 – Completion of Economic & Fiscal Impact Analyses of the DCPP closure in the context of overall trends for the County of San Luis Obispo, with breakout analyses for the following cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo, as well as analyses for the following unincorporated communities of Avila Beach, Cambria, Los Osos, Nipomo, Oceano, Santa Margarita, San Miguel, and Templeton.
  • Phase 2 – Completion of an Economic Strategic and Implementation Plan that unifies the region under a collective vision and guides County leaders in the development of a coordinated economic strategy that fosters strong regional partnerships.


Project Governance and Goals

  • Both the EVC Board of Directors (click here for board membership) and a diverse committee that represents leaders from K-12 and higher education sectors, local government, business, and chambers of commerce guide this project.
  • The EVC commits to the following:

Recent Reports 

Below are the most recent economic reports regarding the closure of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
                     Download Report 


Project updates will be posted on the EVC website periodically. For more specific details on the project, please contact