For immediate release: February 16, 2001
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989
Energy Commission Siting Committee
Recommends Fifth Kern County Power Plant
Sacramento - A California Energy Commission Siting Committee has recommended licensing the 500-megawatt Western Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company Project proposed for construction near the oil field community of Derby Acres, in western Kern County, approximately 40 miles west of Bakersfield.
The recommendation comes in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released today. Following a 30-day period for public comment, the Energy Commission should vote to consider the approval of the proposed decision in mid-March.
The proposed combined cycle, natural gas-fired, electricity-generating facility would be built on a 10-acre site adjacent to an existing 225-megawatt power plant owned by the applicant. Construction is expected to take 20 months; the plant should begin producing power in the fall of 2002.
The new facility would use existing facilities, pipelines and construction corridors and would transmit power through a new 19-mile transmission line which would connect to PG&E's Midway Substation at Buttonwillow. Natural gas fuel for the Western MSCC project would be supplied by the two existing gas pipelines, which would serve both power plants. The new facility will use state-of-the-art Best Available Control Technology to minimize air emissions.
Energy Commissioner Robert Pernell serves as Presiding Member of the Western Midway Sunset Project Review Committee. Commissioner Robert Laurie is the Associate Member.
According to the Committee, the project is entitled to certification under the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), based on evidence presented at formal hearings.
Western Midway Sunset would be the fifth power plant project licensed for Kern County since April 1999. In December 2000, the Energy Commission approved the 750-megawatt Pastoria Energy Facility on Tejon Ranch property 30 miles south of Bakersfield; 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 also located near Derby Acres. The La Paloma Power Project, a 1,048-megawatt generating facility being constructed near the community of McKittrick, was approved in October 1999.
Additional information about the Western Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company Project is available at the Commission's Web Site at:
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