For immediate release: October 31, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989
State Energy Commission Accepts 5 "Peaking"
Units for 'Fast Track' Licensing Process
Sacramento - With a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission today decided it has received enough information to begin a review of five new Northern California power plant proposals which, if licensed, could start producing electricity as soon as next summer.
Three of the five small-scale projects are designed to operate in California for just three years. Two of the projects (Scott and Warnerville) may be converted to combined-cycle power plants at the end of three years. All the projects would be owned and operated by Calpine Power.
If licensed by the Commission, each of the projects would operate five days per week, 12 hours per day from June 1 to October 31, between the years 2001 and 2003.
Now that the projects have been deemed data adequate, the Energy Commission has 25 days to determine if the projects should be "fast-tracked" in four months. The Commission will then to determine which, if any, of these "peaker" electrical generation units satisfy California's power plant licensing requirements under the recent Assembly Bill 970, the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act.
At a special business meeting today, the Energy Commission voted on the five proposals, deciding that each met criteria of the California Energy Security and Reliability Act and could be considered for the State's new "fast track" licensing process.
This law, signed by Governor Gray Davis in September 2000, provides for a four-month certification process for simple-cycle thermal power plants and related facilities that can be on-line by August 1, 2001.
Sometimes referred to as "peaking units," these power generators are used to quickly produce electricity during peak load times. Electricity produced at each of the plants would be sold by Calpine to California's power market.
New "peaker projects" accepted today for review by the Energy Commission include:
- Martin Substation: A 91.2-megawatt power plant proposed to be located at PG&E's existing Martin Substation in Brisbane, San Mateo County. The project would consist of four trailer-mounted simple cycle natural gas-fired turbines.
- Scott Substation: An 88-megawatt power plant proposed to be located in the City of Santa Clara, in Santa Clara County at the Scott power distribution substation just south of Bayshore Freeway, Highway 101, and west of the Southern Pacific rail line. The plant would consist of two simple-cycle natural gas-fired turbines.
- San Mateo: A 91.2-megawatt power plant proposed to be located at the San Mateo power distribution substation immediately adjacent to the municipal golf course. The plant would consist of four trailer-mounted, simple-cycle natural gas-fired turbines.
- Newark: A 91.2-megawatt power plant proposed to be located at PG&E's Newark Substation in the City of Fremont, Alameda County. The plant would consist of four trailer-mounted, natural gas-fired simple cycle power turbine generators connected to the State's electricity grid at PG&E's existing Newark Substation.
- Warnerville: An 86.4-megawatt power generating facility proposed for location in Stanislaus County, 3.5 miles southeast of Oakdale, at the Hetch Hetchy Power Agency's Warnerville Substation. The plant would consist of two simple cycle, natural-gas-fired turbines.
One other "peaker project" has been qualified for an expedited review process. On October 25, 2000, the Commission began its four-month review of 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 plant would be owned and operated by El Paso Merchant Energy Company.
Detailed information about each of these projects, and a complete listing of other power plant projects which are currently under review, is available from the Energy Commission's Web Site at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases
In order to be considered for the four-month-long review process, proposed "peaker" plants had to be found data adequate by an October 31, 2000 deadline. Each project had to include adequate descriptions of proposed licensing conditions that assure the project will:
- Not have a significant adverse impact on the environment
- Protect public health and safety
- Result in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, ordinances and standards
- Be on-line before August 1, 2001.
Each of these new plants will cease to operate in three years unless it is converted into a cleaner, more efficient combined cycle plant.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This news release can be downloaded from the Energy Commission's Web Site at
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