News Release

For Immediate Release: March 4, 1996
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 - 654 - 4989

State Energy Commission Votes 5 - 0 to Approve
San Francisco Energy Company's Powerplant

SACRAMENTO -The California Energy Commission today voted 5 - 0 to approve San Francisco Energy Company's (SFEC) Application for Certification (AFC) for a 240 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration powerplant.

The project will be located in the Bayview Hunters Point area of southeast San Francisco on property owned and controlled by the Port of San Francisco. The Commission's licensing order requires documentation of the pending Port of San Francisco and subsequent San Francisco Board of Supervisors action on the five acre site lease.

Electricity from the project will be sold to the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and the steam from the project will be sold to San Francisco Thermal for district heating and cooling.

The Energy Commission's review of SFEC's application determined that the project will comply with approximately 186 different federal, state, regional and local laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.

In addition, during the construction and operation of the project, SFEC will have to comply with extensive and stringent mitigation measures and conditions of certification that will protect both the environment and the public's health and safety.

The SFEC project review process encompassed 23 separate substantive topics ranging from need, environmental justice, community impacts, environmental impacts, public health and safety, alternatives and engineering.

"The Commission's open, public planning process ensured that local government agencies and residents had numerous opportunities to participate in the public meetings and comment on the proposed project," noted Vice Chair Sally Rakow, the Presiding Member of the Siting Committee.

"Thirty-six of the total 42 public meetings and workshops were conducted in San Francisco, many in the Bayview Hunters Point Community. The public's interest and participation in this proceeding influenced project changes related to the power plant's location, toxic materials handling, noise reduction, visual impacts, traffic, seismic safety and socioeconomic enhancements," she said. Based on the evidentiary record compiled during 13 days of formal public hearings, the Commission found that with the implementation of the conditions of certification specified in its decision, the proposed project complies with the California Environmental Quality Act. Under the law, the project is entitled to certification.

The project complies with applicable state and federal air quality laws and will not cause any significant negative impacts either locally or in the Bay Area.

State Energy Commission Chairman Charles R. Imbrecht, said, "I want to acknowledge the work that has been put into this licensing case by the Intervenors, the Commission staff, SFEC, Vice Chair Rakow and other . While some may feel this is a long, ardous process, it is a necessary process."

"It is a process that ensures complete review of public health and environmental protection. The review period has offered the Committee, the staff, the Intervenors and many knowledgeable members of the public adequate time to scrutinize and evaluate every element of this powerplant application," said Chairman Imbrecht. The SFEC project proposal is the result of a competitive bidding process designed to displace PG&E's aging Hunters Point Units 2 and 3 powerplants. Known as the Biennial Resource Plan Update (BRPU), this competition was held under the guidance and direction of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow independent, non-utility energy developers to bid against utility company generation proposals for providing needed generation.

The project developers anticipate an average and peak construction work force of 122 and 195, respectively. The permanent workforce will consist of 20 to 25 personnel.

The SFEC project represents a $186 million investment. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a community-based organization to use best efforts to employ half its construction work force from the local community.

The SFEC cogeneration project will pay possessory taxes, in lieu of property taxes, of approximately $2 million per year. Approximately half of this will go to the City's General Fund with the remainder going to different funds. Because it is located on Port property, SFEC will make lease payments to the Port for 30 years for a total of about $100 million.

In addition to taxes and lease payments, the company has offered to fund a community benefits package representing a total contribution of $13 million over the life of the project. As proposed by SFEC, disbursement of these funds on community projects will be under the guidance of a community-based organization.

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