For immediate release: March 29, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Votes to Begin Review Process
for 500-Megawatt Kern County Power Project Proposal

Sacramento - With a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission has begun the formal review process for construction and operation of the Western Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company (MSCC) Project, a 500-megawatt, combined cycle, natural gas-fired, merchant-class electrical generating facility project proposed near Derby Acres, in western Kern County.

The proposed power plant and its ancillary facilities, owned by the Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company, would produce electricity to be sold through direct sales agreements and in the spot market through the California Power Exchange. Energy output and operational levels would vary according to demand in California's deregulated energy market.

The Commission's vote marks the start of a 12-month-long review process. Some of the issues examined include public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, environmental impacts and engineering design. Public input is a key element in each phase of the Commission review of power plant proposals.

The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to certify or deny certification for the location and related facilities for thermal power plants in California that generate 50 megawatts or more of electricity.

If approved, the Western MSCC Power Project would be a state-of-the-art generating facility on a 10-acre site adjacent to the existing 225-megawatt Midway Sunset Cogeneration power plant, located approximately 40 miles west of Bakersfield.

The power plant would use existing MSCC facilities, pipelines and construction corridors and would transmit power through a new 19-mile transmission line which would connect to PG&E's Midway Substation at Buttonwillow. Natural gas fuel for the Western MSCC project would be supplied by the two existing gas pipelines which would serve both power plants.

Additional information about the Western Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company Project is available at the Commission's Web Site at:

New State Power Plant Update

The Energy Commission has approved four power projects since the State's electricity market was restructured in March 1998. These power plants include the Delta Energy Center, an 880-megawatt project in Pittsburg; a 500-megawatt Sutter County project; the 500-megawatt Pittsburg District Energy Facility; and the 1,048-megawatt La Paloma generating facility in the McKittrick area of Kern County.

Power plant proposals under consideration by the Energy Commission include the following, listed with the cities or counties in which they would be built, along with anticipated size and cost of each facility.

The Commission's Web Site provides information on these projects at:

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