SAN LUIS OBISPO -- If PG&E's wishes are granted, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will continue to generate electricity until at least 2045.
The company unveiled its plans during a new conference, Tuesday morning.
"This announcement is important not just for the people who benefit directly from the power output of this station, but for all Californians," said John Conway, PG&E Chief Nuclear Officer.
PG& E officials see it as a major step toward building the framework for California's energy future, but not everyone is convinced it is the right move to make.
PG&E has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, requesting its current operating licenses for the plant be renewed.
Unit 1's license is set to expire in 2024 and Unit 2's in 2025.
If the request is ultimately approved, each license would be extended by 20 years.
PG&E officials say it will ensure that Californians have a clean, affordable source of electricity in the future, but critics are concerned it is not a financially responsible decision.
"We think that the rate payers deserve to have all the dollars and cents laid out on the table before them, before they make a decision," said David Weisman, Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility. "You'll notice that sometimes during this conference they called it clean energy, they called it safe energy, but you'll notice on several occasions, they forgot to use the word affordable."
Dozens of community leaders attended the news conference in support of the company's plans, in large part because of how they say the power plant benefits the local economy.
"It is -- in my opinion -- an announcement that will ensure that we have a stable source of power to light our homes, operate our businesses," said Tom Bordonaro, Jr., San Luis Obispo County Assessor.
According to PG&E, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing its application and will decide whether to hold any hearings.
The process could take several years.