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For immediate release: August 31, 2001
Media Contact: Mary Ann Costamagna - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee
Recommends Licensing of Proposed Valero Cogeneration Project

Sacramento -- A California Energy Commission Siting Committee is recommending approval, with conditions, of the Valero Cogeneration Project. The $100 million, 102-megawatt power plant is planned by the Valero Refining Company for the grounds of its refinery in Benecia.

The recommendation comes in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision now available on the Energy Commission's website at:


The proposed facility will include two combustion turbine generators equipped with best available control technology to minimize emissions. Complete offsets, most provided from refinery operations, will be used to compensate for any pollutant for which the Bay Area is in non-attainment.

The cogeneration project will produce steam for refinery processes, thus allowing the retirement of three existing older boilers. The power plant will run on refinery fuel gas, freeing natural gas for other users. The facility will effectively take the Valero Refinery "off the grid," providing energy independence for the refinery and freeing capacity for other electricity users. Excess power will also be sold to make more megawatts available in the Bay Area.

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is not a final decision on the Valero Cogeneration Project. The project will require full Commission approval before receiving its license. Written comments on the Proposed Decision may be submitted to the Energy Commission through September 2001. The Siting Committee will conduct a public conference to discuss comments on September 28, 2001.

The Valero Cogeneration Project Siting Committee is comprised of Commissioner Arthur H. Rosenfeld Ph.D as Presiding Member and Commissioner Robert A. Laurie as Associate Member.

The full Energy Commission is scheduled to consider whether to adopt the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision at its regularly-scheduled meeting on Wednesday, October 3, 2001.

For information on how to participate in the Energy Commission's review of the 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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