For immediate release: April 30, 2001
Media Contact: Rob Schlichting -- (916) 654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee Recommends
Proposed Contra Costa Power Plant Project

Sacramento -- A California Energy Commission Siting Committee has recommended licensing a proposed 530-megawatt addition to the existing Contra Costa Power Project near the City of Antioch in Contra Costa County.

The recommendation comes in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released Monday, April 30, 2001. The document is available on the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

This document is not a final decision on the Contra Costa Power Plant Unit 8 Project being proposed by Mirant Delta LLC. 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 a location and time yet to be determined.

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 May 30, 2001.

If the Energy Commission accepts the recommendation for approval, the new generating unit will 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.

Energy Commission Chairman William Keese serves as Presiding Member of the Contra Costa Power Project Review Committee. Commissioner Michal (spelled correctly) Moore is the Associate Member.

According to the Committee, the 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.

During the licensing process, the visual impacts of the plant were of concern to many local citizens. As one of the conditions for licensing the Contra Costa project, the unit will be relocated on the existing plant site to reduce its impact. Trees will be planted to help screen the project, and structures and fences will be painted in muted colors to blend in with the setting.

The project would use the best available control technology to reduce air emissions to insignificant levels, and complete offsets will be used to compensate for pollutants for which the Bay Area is in violation.

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The public is encouraged to participate and provide comments in the review process. For information on how to participate in the Energy Commission's review of the proposed project, please contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 654-4489, toll free in California at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at .

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