California regulators have approved a plan for two utilities to develop replacement power to help fill the void left by the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles had generated enough electricity for 1.4 million homes.
The unanimous vote Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission opens the way for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to find ways to plug that gap.
Commission President Michael Peevey says he would have preferred to find a way to replace the power without natural gas-fired generation, but it wasn't possible to rely solely on solar and other renewable energy, storage and conservation.
The Sierra Club has warned that the plan could result in more polluting power plants in the region.