For immediate release: June 27, 2001
Media Contact: MaryAnn Costamagna - (916) 654-4989

East Altamont Power Plant Project Begins
Energy Commission's Review Process

Sacramento The California Energy Commission began a formal review today of plans to build the East Altamont Energy Center. Commissioners voted 3-0 to begin the review process for the proposed 1,100-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, power generating facility.

The proposed power plant would be owned and operated by East Altamont Energy Center, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Calpine Corporation. The $400 to $500 million project would be located on a 174-acre parcel in northeastern Alameda County, bordered by Byron Bethany Road, Kelso Road and Mountain House Road, about one mile west of the San Joaquin County line and one mile southeast of the Contra Costa County line. If approved and built, the project will occupy approximately 55 acres, with the remainder of the land available for agricultural lease.

In addition to the power-generating facility, the East Altamont Project includes a 230-kilovolt switchyard and approximately one-half mile of 230-kilovolt transmission lines to connect to the existing Western Area Power Administration's Tracy Substation.

Natural gas would be supplied to the plant by a new 1.4-mile gas supply line. Untreated water - roughly 4,600 acre-feet per year - would be supplied via a 2.1-mile pipeline from the Byron Bethany Irrigation District. As the community of Mountain House is developed and recycled water becomes available, recycled water would supplement the raw water supply.

Today's vote by the Commission begins a 12-month review process. Some of the issues examined over the course of the review include water, land use and zoning, public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, environmental impacts, environmental justice, and engineering design. Public input is a key element in each phase of the Energy Commission's power plant permitting process.

The Commission today also named Chairman William Keese to be Presiding Member of the East Altamont Energy Center Siting Committee. Commissioner Robert Pernell will serve as Associate Member. During the certification process, the Committee is responsible for overseeing all hearings and related proceedings on the proposed facility. Once the review process is complete, the Committee will draft a formal recommendation for other Commissioners to consider before a final action is taken at a full hearing of the Energy Commission.

The Energy Commission's Web site provides information on the proposed project at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/eastaltamont

For information on how you can participate in the Energy Commission's review of the proposed project, contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at pao@energy.state.ca.us.

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