San Francisco’s last fossil-fueled power plant will shut down on January 1 after years of bickering among local politicians and community groups.

The 45-year-old Potrero Hill power plant, which is owned by GenOn Energy Inc. and Mirant Corp., has been considered one of the dirtiest plants in the state.

Some residents in the city’s southeast neighborhoods have blamed it for higher rates of asthma and cancer.

But the facility continued operating because San Francisco needed enough backup power in the event of an earthquake or other catastrophe.

On Tuesday, the California Independent System Operator finally released the plant from contract after Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recently installed a cable under San Francisco Bay that can bring in energy from everywhere.

The city was able to shut down a similar plant in nearby Hunters Point in 2006.

Photo Credit: By Dragons flight (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (], via Wikimedia Commons