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For immediate release: September 7, 2001
Media Contact: Mary Ann Costamagna - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Releases Staff Assessment
for Ocotillo Energy Project

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission Staff Assessment is now available for the Ocotillo Energy Project, Phase 1.

Staff's independent analysis finds that the proposal from Ocotillo Energy, LP still has many unresolved issues. The staff, therefore, recommends that plans to build the 456-megawatt plant within the City of Palm Springs be considered under the Energy CommissionŐs 12-month process, not its four-month process, to allow time for outstanding issues to be addressed.

The Staff Assessment includes a detailed description of the project and the questions about it that have yet to be answered. The report can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's website at:


The Assessment is a staff draft document, not a Committee or Commission decision or proposed decision. It was prepared in accordance with the Public Resources Code and the California Environmental Quality Act.

Ocotillo Energy, LP, a subsidiary of InterGen North America, LP, is proposing to build a 456-megawatt, simple-cycle, natural gas-fired, electrical generation facility in the first phase of its project. Phase two would convert the power plant to a combined-cycle configuration and increase generation to 900 megawatts.

Issues still to be addressed before staff could make a recommendation on the project include air quality, biological resources, and land use. The staff finds the project, as it is currently configured, does not comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations and that it has the potential to cause significant, unmitigated, adverse, environmental impacts.

The Ocotillo Committee, consisting of Commissioner Robert Pernell as Presiding Member and Commission Chair William J. Keese as Associate Member, could decide at any time during the review to move the project from the four-month into the 12-month process.

The release of the Staff Assessment initiates a 30-day comment period. Comments should be sent to the California Energy Commission by October 8, 2001.

To find out how to participate in the Energy Commission 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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