For Immediate Release: June 9, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989
Elk Hills Proposed Project Plugs
$300 Million, 500 Megawatts Into Local Economy
Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has voted to begin reviewing plans for the $300 million, 500-megawatt, natural gas-fired Elk Hills electrical generating plant proposed for construction in western Kern County. The project is a joint venture between Sempra Energy Resources and Occidental Energy Ventures of Elk Hills.
Today's action marks the start of a 12-month process during which the Commission ensures that, if approved, construction and operation of the natural gas-fired power plant will comply with provisions of the WarrenÐAlquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.
The Elk Hills Power Project has been proposed for construction on a 12-acre site near the approximate center of the 74 square mile Elk Hills Oil and Gas Field operated by Occidental Energy Ventures of Elk Hills, approximately 25 miles west of Bakersfield.
The proposed project would include a new 9-mile overhead transmission line that would be built to interconnect to the east at a new substation near Tupman. A proposed new 2,500 foot, 10-inch supply pipeline, owned and operated by the applicant, would supply natural gas.
Process water would be groundwater provided by the West Kern Water District and conveyed to the project site by a proposed new 9.8 mile, 16-inch supply pipeline. Cooling water would be disposed of in proposed new disposal wells located 4 miles south of the power plant site.
In a related action, the Energy Commission today also designated Energy Commissioner David A. Rohy as Presiding Member of the Elk Hills Power Plant Siting Committee. Commissioner Michal (correct spelling) Moore will serve as Associate Member of the Committee.
During the certification process, the Committee is responsible for overseeing all hearings and related proceedings on the proposed facility. Upon conclusion of the review process, the Committee will formulate formal recommendations for consideration by other Commissioners before a final action is taken at a full hearing of the Energy Commission.
The Elk Hills Power Project is the third Kern County power plant proposal currently under Energy Commission review. Others in the county include Sunrise Cogeneration, a $250 million, 300-megawatt project proposed for a site near the community of Fellows, and U.S. Generating Company's $500 million, 1,048-megawatt La Paloma Generating Project located near the town of McKittrick.
Other proposals seeking Energy Commission approval to generate and sell electricity include:
- Delta Energy Center, Contra Costa County (880 megawatts)
- High Desert Power Plant Project, San Bernardino County (680-720 megawatts)
- Pittsburg District Energy Facility Project, Contra Costa County (500 megawatts)
On April 15, 1999, the Energy Commission voted to approve the Calpine Corporation's $300 million, 500-megawatt Sutter Power Project, a natural gas-fueled, combined cycle electric generation facility approximately seven miles southwest of Yuba City. Calpine expects the Sutter Project, the first project approved by the Commission since electric industry restructuring legislation was passed in 1996, to start producing electricity in April 2001.
The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to certify the site and related facilities for thermal power plants in California that generate 50 or more megawatts of electricity. The Commission's review process includes a comprehensive and objective analysis of all issues including but not limited to public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, environmental impacts, engineering design and need. This process fulfills the obligations of the California Environmental Quality Act.
The Commission's Web Site provides information on the proposed Elk Hills projecct at:
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