For Immediate Release: February 17, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Votes to Consider
Two New Power Plant Applications

Sacramento, Calif. -- The California Energy Commission today voted to begin review of Applications for Certification (AFCs) for the construction and operation of two new natural gas-fueled power plants to be located in Contra Costa and Kern Counties.

The proposed Delta Energy Center in Contra Costa County would be built on an undeveloped 20-acre parcel at the Dow Chemical Company facility, located northwest of the Delta Diablo Sanitation District treatment plant. The 880-megawatt project is a joint partnership of Calpine Corporation and the San Francisco-based Bechtel Enterprises Inc., an affiliate of Bechtel Group Inc.

The second planned project would be located in western Kern County, 25 miles southwest of Bakersfield. At a cost of nearly $200 million, Sunrise Cogeneration and Power Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco, Inc., plans to construct a 320-megawatt natural gas-fueled facility near the community of Fellows.

Accepting an AFC is the first step in a comprehensive review by the Energy Commission that ensures all proposed power plant projects comply with provisions of the Warren–Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act before their applicants receive a license to construct and operate generation facilities. The year-long review looks at possible environmental and community impacts and considers proposed mitigation measures. It examines preliminary engineering designs, conformance with applicable laws and standards, and compatibility with the state's electricity demand.

Delta Energy Center and the Sunrise project bring to six the number of power plant applications currently under review by the Commission. The other four generation facilities being considered are in the counties of San Bernardino, Sutter, Kern and Contra Costa.

As many as eight more projects may be brought to the Energy Commission for review in the coming months. If the Commission were to approve all 14 of these proposed facilities, the new plants together could generate nearly 9,500 megawatts of electricity – enough energy to power nine million typical California homes per day.

The 14 proposals could represent more than $2 billion of new investment in high-technology merchant power plants for California.

Energy Commission Chairman William Keese is the Presiding Member of the Delta Energy Center Siting Committee, with Commissioner Jananne Sharpless serving as Associate Member. Presiding Member of the Sunrise Cogeneration Power Plant Siting Committee is Michal (spelled correctly) Moore. Associate Member is Jananne Sharpless.

Siting committee members are responsible for overseeing all hearings and related proceedings during the power plant certification process; Commission staff also conduct public workshops to collect additional data and resolve issues. At the end of the year-long review, committee members make formal recommendations to the full Commission before a final decision is made at an Energy Commission hearing.

The review process relies heavily on public participation. The general public, government agencies and other interested parties may send written comments to the Commission, make oral presentations at Commission-sponsored hearings and workshops, or file petitions to become formal parties to the process.

Information about all siting cases currently before the Energy Commission is available on the Commission's Web site at:

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