Pacific Gas and Electric Co.(PG&E) may begin to implement a precedent-setting plan after California’s State Lands Commission approved a lease extension for the utility’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. The extension would allow the plant to run through the now-targeted shutdown in 2025. PG&E has to file a proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission and convene a conference of interested parties related to settlement reached earlier in June (see Daily GPI, June 21). The State Lands extension was one of five contingencies listed in the settlement agreement.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has approved the merger of Southern Company and AGL Resources, which is the parent of Elizabethtown Gas, a regulated utility serving customers in New Jersey. “The BPU’s decision represents the final regulatory approval needed to close the previously announced merger, which was unanimously approved by state regulators in each of the six required jurisdictions in just 10 months,” Southern Company said. Closing of the deal is expected by the end of June. The combination is to be the second-largest utility company in the United States by customer base, bringing together 11 regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies serving nine million customers; 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; more than 80,000 miles of gas pipelines; and 44,000 MW of electricity generating capacity (see Daily GPI, Aug. 24, 2015).