For immediate release: December 6, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

California Energy Commission Update:
Power Plant Licensing This Week

Sacramento -- At its December 6, 2000, Business Meeting, the California Energy Commission licensed two new power plants in Kern County -- the 500-megawatt Elk Hills Power Project and a temporary 320-megawatt "peaker" plant, the Sunrise Power Project. (See the separate December 6, 2000, press release on these two projects.)

In other power plant licensing cases this week:

Applicant Withdraws Warnerville "Peaker" Plant from Consideration

On Tuesday, December 5, 2000, Calpine c* Power withdrew its application to build and operate an 86.4 megawatt "peaker" power plant in Stanislaus County, near the City of Oakdale.

Energy Commission staff and the licensing committee overseeing the project had recommended that the Commission remove the project from consideration under its expedited, four-month license process. The project was withdrawn by the applicant one day before the Energy Commission vote on the recommendation was to be held.

The Warnerville Substation facility was the final remaining "peaker" project proposed by Calpine c* Power. At one time the applicant had five "peaker" plants under consideration in the expedited, four-month-long review process. All were voluntarily withdrawn.

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

The third 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.

Water has been one of the more controversial aspects of this power plant proposal, and part three of the staff assessment addresses biological resources, soil and water resources, and alternatives.

The Executive Summary of the report states that:

"If the mitigation measures and conditions of certification recommended by
staff are implemented, staff believes that the project will have an insignificant
impact on soil and water resources and biological resources, and will
comply with applicable regulations . . . ."

This staff recommendation is not a final decision. Evidentiary hearings will now be held by the Three Mountain Siting Committee; Chairman William Keese is the Presiding Member and Commissioner Robert A. Laurie is the Associate Member. At the conclusion of these hearings, the Presiding Member will issue a report to the full Commission, which will vote to approve or disapprove the project.

Other Siting Issues Decided in Today's Business Meeting

These items, detailed in last week's Siting Update, were voted on at the December 6, 2000 Business Meeting of the California Energy Commission:

United Golden Gate "Peaker" Power Project

The Commission voted four to zero that this "peaker" plant meets the criteria to remain in the expedited siting process. Proposed by El Paso Merchant Energy, the 51-megawatt simple cycle project would be constructed at the San Francisco International Airport.

Morro Bay Power Plant

Duke Energy's application review of a remodeled generating facility at Morro Bay is not yet data adequate. By a four to zero vote, Commissioners today decided that review of the proposed project could not begin until the applicant, Duke Energy, provides additional information. The Commission's decision finalizes the recommendations of its staff and Executive Director that were made last week. The Executive Director's "Data Adequacy Recommendation" is on line at:

The proposed 1,200-megawatt plant would replace an existing facility in the City of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo County.

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