For immediate release: August 16, 2001
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Begins Six-Month
Review of Colusa Power Plant Project

Sacramento - On a vote of 3-0, the California Energy Commission will begin reviewing plans to construct and operate the Colusa Power Project, proposed for Colusa County.

If approved and built, the Colusa Power Project would be a 500-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle, electric generating facility owned and operated by Reliant Energy Colusa County, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliant Energy. The $320 to $360 million project would be located four miles west of Interstate 5 and 14 miles north of the City of Williams. The rural site is in a sparsely-populated area and is adjacent to both PG&E electric transmission lines and gas-transmission pipelines. Reliant hopes to begin the 22-month construction schedule immediately following certification and expects the plant to come on-line in the second quarter of 2004.

Plans for the Colusa Power Project call for two combustion gas turbines and a steam turbine driven with steam generated by heat recovery steam generators. The project would use air cooling to reduce water consumption by over 90 percent and employ a zero liquid discharge system.

The vote by the Commission at its Wednesday, August 15, 2001 Business Meeting begins a six-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, environmental impacts, and engineering design.

With a separate 3-0 vote, the Commission named Commissioner Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Ph.D., to be Presiding Member of the Colusa Power Project Siting Committee. Commissioner Michal (spelled correctly) C. Moore, Ph.D., 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 the other Commissioners to consider before taking final action at a full hearing of the Energy Commission.

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

For information on how you can participate in the Energy Commission's review of the Colusa Power 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

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