For immediate release: October 25, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Approves
Moss Landing Power Project,
Puts First California Power Project
on the 'Fast Track'

Sacramento -- With a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission today gave the 1,060-megawatt Moss Landing Power Plant Project in Monterey County final approval for construction and operation.

The $500 million Moss Landing Power Plant Project is a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant to be located at the intersection of Highway 1 and Dolan Road, east of the community of Moss Landing, near the Moss Landing Harbor in Monterey County. The Energy Commission began its review of the project in August 1999.

Today's vote came after the Energy Commission's Moss Landing Siting Committee -- consisting of Chairman William J. Keese, Presiding Member and Commissioner Michal C. Moore, Ph.D. -- recommended full Commission approval of the project.

The August 29, 2000, Presiding Member's Proposed Decision and the October 12, 2000, 19-page Errata to this document may be found on the Commission 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 full-Commission certification under the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Among the terms and conditions of the Energy Commission license, project owner Duke Energy will pay $7 million to support steps that mitigate the impacts of the power plant's operations on the area's marine biology.

The Errata to the Proposed Decision, detailing a series of conditions outlined in the Proposed Decision, also requires Duke Energy to pay $425,000 to the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation to fund the Coastal Waters Evaluation Program. These funds will be used to evaluate the effects on biological resources in the Bay resulting from the power plant's thermal discharge. Duke will pay $150,000 to the Foundation within 90 days of today's vote, and a final payment of $275,000 within 90 days of the start of commercial operation of the first new unit.

The Moss Landing Power Plant will replace existing electrical power generation Units 1 through 5, which have a total capacity of 613 megawatts. The five units, which were built in the 1950s and taken out of operation in 1995, will be replaced by two combined cycle units consisting of gas-fired combustion turbine generators, two unfired heat recovery steam generators and a reheat, condensing steam turbine generator. Each of these units will use seawater for once-through cooling.

The project is scheduled to be on-line by the summer of 2002 when it will increase the total generating capacity of the Moss Landing plant to approximately 2,590 megawatts.

The Moss Landing Power Plant becomes the sixth California power plant the Energy Commission has approved since the State's electricity market was restructured in March 1998. When operating, these plants will represent a total generation capacity of 4,708-megawatts, with 2,048 megawatts expected to be on-line by 2001.

Other projects approved by the Energy Commission include:

First Power Project Put on 'Fast Track'

In a separate action at today's meeting, the Energy Commission also voted to begin the power plant licensing process for the United Golden Gate Power Project, a 51-megawatt simple cycle power plant proposed for a site at the San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County.

The project owner, El Paso Merchant Energy, is also proposing a 570-megawatt combined cycle power plant at the same location. The company plans to file a separate license application with the Energy Commission in November 2000.

This is the first project accepted for review by the Energy Commission under terms of Assembly Bill 970, the California Energy Security and Reliability Act that was signed by Governor Gray Davis on September 6, 2000.

This law establishes a new process for the expedited review of applications enabling certain types of power plants to be licensed and come "on line" more quickly in California.

Only simple cycle plants that present no significant adverse environmental impact, and are equipped with best air emissions control technology are eligible for this fast-track review process.

These plants would lose their license to operate unless they converted into a cleaner, more efficient combined cycle power plant within three years.

A complete listing of other power plant project proposals being reviewed by the Energy Commission may be found at the Commission's Web Site at:

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