South Bay Power Plant To Be Torn Down

Dynegy, Port Of SD Agree On Plan To Demolish Plant In Chula Vista

The Port of San Diego announced Wednesday an agreement with Dynegy South Bay LLC on a plan to tear down its South Bay power plant, located along the bayfront in Chula Vista.

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With the agreement in hand, the Houston-based company will apply for a demolition permit from the California Coastal Commission in the next 15 days. A permit is also necessary from the city of Chula Vista.

When demolition actually begins depends on how long it takes to acquire the permits.

The 51-year-old plant, long considered an eyesore and impediment to further development of the waterfront, sits on 150 acres. It is owned by the port and was operated by Dynegy until it was closed at the end of last year.

"Dismantling and demolishing the South Bay Power Plant is a critical step in our plans for the Chula Vista waterfront, which is one of the prime pieces of coastal real estate in all of California," said Scott Peters, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "Once that demolition permit is issued and approved by the California Coastal Commission, we'll be out there helping to knock it down."

The firm began asbestos abatement at the power plant in August and will continue that work until May. Parts of the structure are sealed to prevent the dangerous substance from escaping into the atmosphere.

Under terms of the agreement, teardown will be a two-step process with the above-ground structure first, followed by removal of equipment down to 4 feet below the surface. The port's Marguerite Elicone said doing it that way will restore the visual beauty of the waterfront at a faster pace.

The port agreed to a dozen conditions on technical issues set forth by Dynegy, including that jetties at the site will remain in place.

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