For immediate release: October 10, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Assessment
on Proposed Metcalf Energy Center
Now Available 'On-Line' and 'In-Print'

Sacramento -- A Final Staff Assessment of the construction and operation of the proposed Metcalf Energy Center is now available from the California Energy Commission. The report and a detailed description of the power project can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's Web Site located at:

The report contains the Energy Commission staff's independent analysis and recommendation on the Metcalf Energy Center. This is not a decision document for these proceedings, nor does it contain the final findings of the Energy Commission.

On June 23, 1999, the California Energy Commission began its review of the application by Calpine Corporation and Bechtel Enterprises to build and operate the Metcalf Energy Center, a combined-cycle electric generation facility. The proposed site is located partially in the City of San Jose and partially in the county of Santa Clara, near Highway 101 in the southern part of San Jose. The 20-acre site is currently zoned for agricultural use by both the city and county.

The proposed Metcalf Energy Center and related facilities such as the electric transmission lines, natural gas line, water supply lines and wastewater lines are under the Energy Commission's jurisdiction. When issuing a license, the Energy Commission is the lead state agency under the California Environmental Quality Act. This process is equivalent to the preparation of an environmental impact report.

During the Energy Commission's review, the Commission staff prepares an independent assessment of the project's potential effects on public health, safety, the environment and the electricity system. They also evaluate the project's conformance with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards. The staff evaluates alternatives to the proposed project, recommends measures to mitigate potential adverse impacts, and proposes conditions for construction, operation and closure of the project if it is approved.

In its Final Staff Assessment, the Commission staff found that the project as proposed will cause significant adverse visual and land use impacts but that it will also provide significant electrical system benefits in the San Francisco Bay Area in general, and the San Jose area in particular. The staff's report concludes that the benefits outweigh the adverse impacts of the project.

The Energy Commission's final staff assessment on the Metcalf Energy Center will be used by the city of San Jose as the environmental document for reaching its decision on Calpine/Bechtel's application for a change in the city's general plan and zoning designation.

The Final Staff Assessment will also be presented at hearings on the project held by the siting case committee. During these hearings, the two assigned Commissioners will consider the recommendations of all interested parties, including those of local citizens; the City of San Jose; and other local, state, and federal agencies. After these hearings, the Commissioners will recommend a final decision for adoption by the full five-member Energy Commission, on Calpine/Bechtel's application to construct and operate the nominal 600-megawatt, natural gas-fired Metcalf Energy Center.

Persons requiring information on how to participate in the Energy Commission's review of the proposed project should contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at

Note to Editors: Members of the media who wish to receive the eight-page Executive Summary portion of the Final Staff Assessment of the proposed Metcalf Energy Center via fax, may do so by calling the Energy Commission's Media and Communications Office at (916) 654-4989.

Please note that the Energy Commission now offers an automated mail list that e-mails reporters and other interested parties news releases and other notices related to power plant siting cases. Information about the Energy Commission's automated list servers is available at:

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