For immediate release: March 13, 2001
Media Contact: Rob Schlichting -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee Recommends Proposed Otay Mesa Power Plant

Sacramento -- A California Energy Commission Siting Committee has recommended licensing of the Otay Mesa Generating Project, a 510-megawatt power plant proposed for construction in the Otay Mesa area in western San Diego County.

The recommendation comes in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released Monday, March 12, 2001. The document is available and can be printed from the Energy Commission's Web Site at

This document is not a final decision on the power plant project being proposed by the Otay Mesa Generating Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Generating. Once the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is released, there is a 30-day period for public comment. The siting committee will conduct a public conference to discuss comments on the document at this location and time:

Committee Conference
Friday, April 6, 2001
Beginning at 10 a.m.
County Administration Building
Room 358, South Board Chambers
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, California
(wheelchair accessible)

If no comments are received to change the substantive findings of the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision, the Energy Commission will consider approving the document at its regularly scheduled Business Meeting on April 18, 2001.

If the Energy Commission accepts the recommendation, the natural gas-fired, combined cycle facility would be built on a 15-acre site about 15 miles southeast of San Diego, California, and about 1.5 miles north of the border between the United States and Mexico. Construction would begin in the third quarter of 2001.

The $350 million project is expected to provide as many as 361 construction jobs and 24 permanent operational jobs. By the fourth quarter of 2003, the power plant should be on-line, providing electricity to the California market.

Energy Commissioner Robert Laurie serves as Presiding Member of the Otay Mesa Generating Project Review Committee. Commissioner Robert Pernell is the Associate Member.

According to the Committee, the Otay Mesa project is entitled to certification not only under local ordinances and regulations but also under the Warren-Alquist Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), based on evidence presented at formal hearings.

The project plans to use dry cooling technology to reduce the consumption of potable water, and would use the best available control technology to reduce air emissions to insignificant levels. The project will also implement an innovative program of air emission offsets that was approved by the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. Making use of mobile emission reduction credits, the applicant will replace old diesel engines in harbor vessels with new less polluting engines and substitute diesel engines in sanitation district trucks with natural gas engines.

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