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

Energy Commission Licenses
Ninth New Power Plant

By a unanimous vote, the California Energy Commission today approved the Pastoria Energy Facility, a 750-megawatt power plant to be constructed in southeastern Kern County.

The Pastoria plant is the ninth gas-fired electricity generating facility to be licensed by the Commission since the electricity industry was restructured in March 1998. When completed, the nine new plants will add a total of 6,278 megawatts to the State's power grid. One megawatt is enough to power 1,000 average California homes; on a typical December day this year, the entire State uses approximately 35,000 to 38,000 megawatts.

The new power plant will be constructed 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.

Pastoria Energy Facility, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), a subsidiary of Enron North America Corporation, will own and operate the $400 million project. Construction is expected to begin in June 2001, and will provide an estimated 325 construction jobs and 25 permanent positions.

The plant should be on-line and in full production by mid-2003.

Pastoria is the fourth power plant to be approved for Kern County. The La Paloma Power Project, a 1,048-megawatt generating facility under construction near the community of McKittrick, was approved in October 1999. This December, the Energy Commission approved both the Elk Hills Power Project, a 500-megawatt plant to be built near the small oil community of Tupman; and the Sunrise Power Project, a 320-megawatt "peaker" plant near the Kern County town of Derby Acres.

The Energy Commission is also considering another generating facility for the Derby Acres area - the 500-megawatt Western Midway-Sunset Power Project, which would be built adjacent to an existing 225-megawatt power plant.

The Western Midway-Sunset plant is one of 11 proposed projects - totaling an additional 5,455 megawatts and an estimated capital investment of more than $4 billion - that are currently being examined by the Commission.

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

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