For immediate release: May 24, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Proposed Power Projects - An Overview
Update on Energy Commission's Review of California Power Projects

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has approved five power plant projects since the State's electricity industry was restructured in March 1998. Another 11 electricity generating projects are currently being considered for licensing by the Commission, which has exclusive jurisdiction in the State to certify thermal power plants that generate 50 megawatts or more.

Power Plants Recently Approved

Power Plants Presently Under Review

The California Energy Commission is presently reviewing 11 additional proposed electricity generation projects.

Before a potential power plant can be approved, it must undergo a strenuous 12-month review to ensure that the project complies with provisions of the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. Issues examined during the year-long proceeding include public health and safety, air and water quality, hazardous materials, environmental impacts, land use, and engineering design.

The siting process breaks roughly into four parts. Once the Energy Commission decides an application is detailed enough to begin study, the staff conducts discovery and analysis before drafting a Preliminary Staff Assessment of the project. Concerns highlighted by this document are then explored in a series of staff workshops in which other agencies, the applicant and the general public can present information. The staff then prepares a Final Staff Assessment, which is typically published about six months into the siting process.

Once the Final Staff Assessment is completed, an Energy Commission Siting Committee takes responsibility for all hearings and related proceedings on the proposed facility. Again the Energy Commission seeks active public participation. Based on the evidentiary record and public comment, the Committee prepares a Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. Only after additional hearings and public conferences on this document does the Committee formulate its final recommendations. These are considered by the full Commission, which must vote to approve or reject the application at an Energy Commission Business Meeting.

Additional power plant proposals presently being reviewed by the Energy Commission include these projects, listed with the cities or counties in which they are planned, their anticipated size, cost, and the date the project application review began.

Information about current and anticipated applications for power plant licensing is available on the Energy Commission's Web Site located at:

For information concerning public participation in the Energy Commission's siting process, contact the Commission's Public Advisor, Roberta Mendonca, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at

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