For immediate release: March 6, 2001
Media Contact: Rob Schlichting -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Completes Assessment
of Contra Costa Power Plant Project

Sacramento -- The Staff Assessment for the construction and operation of a proposed 530-megawatt addition to the existing Contra Costa Power Project near the City of Antioch in Contra Costa County is now available from the California Energy Commission.

The report and a detailed description of the power project can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

Called the Contra Costa Power Plant Unit 8 Project, the new generating unit would have two natural gas-fired, combined cycle turbines, two heat recovery steam generators, and a steam turbine generator. The new facility would be constructed wholly within the site of the now-operating Contra Costa Power Plant and would share many of the existing water systems and other ancillary systems. While the existing plant consists of seven generation units, only units 6 and 7 currently produce electricity.

Estimated to cost between $240 million and $290 million, the new power plant is expected to take 22 months to construct, and should be on-line by mid-2003.

The Energy Commission's Staff Assessment contains analyses similar to those contained in Environmental Impact Reports required by the California Environmental Quality Act. The document presents conclusions and proposed conditions that staff recommends apply to the design, construction, operation, and closure of the proposed facility, if approved.

The document finds that the Contra Costa Project conforms with all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards, and concludes that the impacts caused by the project can be successfully mitigated, with the possible exception of visual resources.

The Staff Assessment, however, is not a proposed decision on the project. The case now goes to a siting committee, made up of two Energy Commissioners, who will hold evidentiary hearings in which the public can voice their comments or concerns about the project. While dates for the hearings have not been finalized, they should be conducted in approximately 30 days.

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