For immediate release: May 3, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Fifth California Project Approved Since March `98

Energy Commission Gives Final Clearance for $350 Million, 700-megawatt Power Plant Project at Former Air Force Base

Sacramento - By a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission today gave the High Desert Power Project final approval for construction and operation on a 25-acre, industrially-zoned site in the northwest corner of the city of Victorville. The San Bernardino County location is part of the Southern California Logistics Airport, formerly George Air Force Base, about 80 miles north of John Wayne Airport.

High Desert Power Project, LLC, comprised of affiliates of Constellation Power Development of Baltimore, Maryland, is the sponsor of the $350 million project. The natural gas-fired merchant power plant is expected to generate 700 megawatts of electricity for sale into California's restructured power market.

Today's vote came after the Energy Commission's High Desert Siting Committee - consisting of Commissioner Robert A. Laurie, Presiding Member, and Chairman William J. Keese, Associate Member - recommended full Commission approval of the project.

The December 15, 1999, Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on the High Desert Project was revised in March 2000. Both of these documents and the April 27, 2000, four-page Errata to the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision may be found on the Commission's Web Site at:

In recommending approval for the project, the Committee reviewed all aspects of the proposal, including environmental impacts, public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, and engineering alternatives.

Based on evidence presented at formal hearings, the Committee recommended the project for certification under the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

The High Desert Power Project becomes the fifth California power plant project the Energy Commission has approved since the State's electricity market was restructured in March 1998.

Other approved power projects include: the 880-megawatt Delta Energy Center in the City of Pittsburg; Calpine Corporation's 500-megawatt Sutter County cogeneration project in Yuba City; the 500-megawatt Los Medanos Energy Center, also in the City of Pittsburg; and the 1,048 La Paloma Generating Facility to be located in the McKittrick area of Kern County.

Update on Energy Commission Review of
Other California Power Projects

The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to certify sites and related facilities for thermal power plants in California that generate 50 megawatts or more 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 and engineering design.

Public input is a key element of the Commission's rigorous scrutiny of each power plant proposal. Public participation is a requirement of both the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Additional power plant proposals presently filed with the Energy Commission include these projects, listed with the cities or counties in which they are planned for construction and the anticipated size and cost of each facility.


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