A massive coal-fired power plant that served customers in the West for nearly 50 years shut down Monday, the latest closure in a shift away from coal and toward renewable energy and cheaper power.
One of those places in California is the recently closed power plant in Morro Bay (near where I live), where there are three tall stacks very similar to the Navajo Generating Station. No doubt asbestos is an issue there, and yes, they are probably useful navigation aids for boats, but those aren't the reasons they haven't been removed yet. The site is owned by Dynegy, and they haven't yet figured out what they want to do with the site in the long run, but ultimately those stacks will be gone. I worked on trying to relocate the City's wastewater treatment plant and to create a recycled water facility, and that site was under consideration for that as recently as 2016. Had that site been chosen (it wasn't), those stacks would have been removed promptly. It's interesting that there's a divide in the community about whether or not to remove them--a lot of locals see these stacks as an eyesore, while others see them as part of the landscape and a cultural landmark.Based on what I have seen in California, the stacks may have asbestos in them, making demolition expensive and risky. In some locations along the California coast they left the stacks up as a navigating aid to boaters.