For immediate release: November 20, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
Power Plant Licensing This Week

The fourth of five "peaker" power plants submitted to the California Energy Commission for a special, four-month-long review process has been withdrawn by the applicant, Calpine c* Power.

The latest project to be removed from consideration is the Scott Substation facility, an 88-megawatt power plant proposed for the City of Santa Clara, in Santa Clara County.

At a special October 31, 2000 Business Meeting, the Energy Commission determined it had enough information to begin a special, four-month-long review of five "peaker" plants proposed by Calpine c* Power. On November 6, 2000, the applicant withdrew three of the temporary plants — the Martin Substation and the San Mateo Substation facilities in San Mateo County, and the Newark Substation facility in Alameda County. Now Calpine's only remaining "peaker" plant is the Warnerville Substation facility proposed for Stanislaus County.

Designed to produce electricity during times of peak demand, "peakers" are simple cycle, temporary power plants that may receive expedited operating permits through a special four-month-long process, provided they present no significant adverse environmental impacts and are equipped with best available air emissions control technology. They would be required to be removed or converted to a cleaner, more efficient combined cycle within three years.

Additional information about these projects can be found on the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

Revised Decision Recommends Sunrise Power Project as a "Peaker" Unit

When it began the licensing process in 1999, the Sunrise Power Project was proposed as a cogeneration facility, designed to create 320 megawatts of electricity and to produce steam for use in the Midway-Sunset oilfields that are adjacent to its 20-acre site.

This September, the applicant amended the project to be a single-cycle peaking power plant, one that could be constructed in time to deliver power during the summer peak demand of 2001.

The new plan takes advantage of engineering and development work and environmental studies already done for the project, which is located in western Kern County, approximately 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield.

Ownership of the project has also changed. The proposed cogeneration facility was owned by Sunrise Cogeneration and Power Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Texaco, Inc. The new project is owned by Edison Mission Energy.

With its single-cycle "peaker" design, the plant will no longer be producing steam for the oil fields, alleviating many of the project's problems such as air quality that were outlined in the Energy Commission's original Presiding Member's Proposed Decision in May 2000. With that in mind, the Energy Commission's Sunrise Siting Committee has released a Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. In it they recommend certification of the "peaker" project to operate until December 31, 2002

There will be a 15-day comment period on the revised decision, and the siting commitee will hold a conference on December 4, 2000. The Energy Commission will consider the Proposed Decision at its December 6, 2000 Business Meeting.

In addition to the Sunrise Power Plant, two other "peaker" plants are still in the licensing process. If all three are approved and built, they will produce 459 megawatts of electricity.

These two plants are under the Energy Commission's four-month "fast-track" approval process.

Presiding Member's Proposed Decision Recommends Kern County's Pastoria Power Project.

The Siting Committee for the Pastoria Energy Facility has released its Presiding Member's Proposed Decision which determines the southeastern Kern County power plant as planned "complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards, and may therefore be licensed."

This is not yet a final decision, but the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is the result of nearly 11 months work by staff and the Pastoria Siting Committee. A 30-day comment period for the document ends on December 18, 2000. At that time, after additional hearings and public conferences, the Committee will 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.

The proposed power plant is owned by Pastoria Energy Facility, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), a subsidiary of Enron North America Corporation. The 750-megawatt, natural gas-fired, merchant-class electrical generating facility would be located on 31 undeveloped acres of Tejon Ranch property, about 30 miles south of Bakersfield and approximately 6.5 miles east of Interstate 5 at the base of the Tehachapi Mountains.

Energy Commissioner Robert A. Laurie is Presiding Member of the Pastoria Energy Facility Siting Committee, with Commissioner Michal (correct spelling) C. Moore serving as Associate Member.

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision can be downloaded from the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

Staff Completes Assessment on Southern California's Blythe Power Plant

A staff assessment of the Blythe Energy Project in eastern Riverside County is now available on the Energy Commission's Web Site at :

The 545-page document contains independent work produced by the staffs of both the Energy Commission and the Western Area Power Administration.

As proposed by Blythe Energy, LLC., the 520-megawatt power plant would be located on privately owned lands located near Interstate 10 and Blythe Airport, about five miles west of the City of Blythe. The project would be a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant that would include a 15-acre site for its main power facilities.

The staff assessment is not a final decision, but represents the approximate halfway point in the power plant licensing process. Once the staff assessment is completed, an Energy Commission Siting Committee takes responsibility for all hearings and related proceedings on the proposed facility. With the help of active public participation, the Committee prepares a Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. After more hearings and public conferences, the Committee formulates its final recommendations, which are considered by the full Commission.

In the Executive Summary of the assessment, the staff concludes "that if all recommended conditions of certification are adopted by the Commission and implemented by the applicant, no significant adverse environmental impacts will result" from the Blythe Energy Project.

Staff Completes Assessment on Kern County's Western Midway Sunset Project

Marking the approximate mid-point of the power plant licensing process, a staff assessment has been released on the Western Midway Sunset Power Project in western Kern County.

The Midway Sunset project would be a 500-megawatt, combined cycle, natural gas-fired, merchant-class electrical generating facility project. It is proposed for a 10-acre site adjacent to the existing 225-megawatt Midway Sunset Cogeneration power plant, located approximately 40 miles west of Bakersfield, near the community of Derby Acres.

The new plant would use facilities, pipelines and construction corridors of the existing facility and would transmit power through a new 19-mile transmission line which would connect to PG&E's Midway Substation at Buttonwillow.

Owned by the Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company, the plant would produce electricity to be sold through direct sales agreements and in the spot market through the California Power Exchange.

While the staff assessment is not a final decision, the Executive Summary of the document declares that Energy Commission staff recommends certification of the project "subject to all conditions of certification as proposed…."

The 459-page assessment is available on line at:

Staff Assessment, Part Two Released on Shasta County's Three Mountain Power Project

The second of three parts of the staff assessment for the Three Mountain Power Project near the Shasta County town of Burney is now available on the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

As proposed by Three Mountain Power, LLC (Ogden Pacific Power), the Three Mountain Power Project is a nominal 500-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant. It would be built adjacent to an existing 10-megawatt waste-wood-fueled power plant in Burney, approximately 45 miles east of Redding.

The just-released second part of the staff assessment addresses land use, noise, visual resources, air quality, public health, and such issues as waste management, and power plant efficiency and reliability.

Because the analysis involving issues such as biological, soil and water resources and alternatives remain incomplete, part two of the assessment makes no project recommendations.

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