For immediate release: May 22, 2001
Contact: Claudia Chandler (916) 654-4989

More than 10,000 Megawatts of New Power Licensed in California



May 22, 2001

California passed an important energy milestone this week as the California Energy Commission officially approved more than 10,000 megawatts of new electricity generation - enough to eventually power 10 million typical California homes.

„Never before in California‚s history has so much electricity generation been licensed in such a short time,š said Energy Commissioner Robert Laurie, Chairman of the Commission‚s Siting Committee. „Working long hours under incredible pressure, Energy Commission staff continues to do an outstanding job of analyzing complex data to insure that California will have the power it needs while protecting its environment.š

Since April 1999, the Energy Commission has licensed 15 major power plants, adding a total generation capacity of 9,873 megawatts to the State‚s power system. Still under consideration are 12 more generating facilities that would provide an additional 5,560 megawatts.

The Commission has also licensed eight simple-cycle, „peakerš power plants that will rapidly add 636 megawatts to the State‚s power grid this summer. Called „summer reliabilityš projects, these generating facilities have been approved in as quick a time as 19 days, under an emergency process Governor Gray Davis established by Executive Order in February 2001. The latest, a 135-megawatt peaker plant in the City of Gilroy in Santa Clara County, was approved at a special Business Meeting in Sacramento today.

All of the summer reliability plants must be up and running by September 30, 2001. Four major power plants, totaling 1,829-megawatts, are expected to be on-line this summer.

A current status report on power plant licensing cases is located at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/backgrounder.html

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