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For immediate release: December 19, 2001
Contact: Mary Ann Costamagna - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Releases Second Part of
Morro Bay Power Plant Staff Analysis

Sacramento - The second part of the Final Staff Assessment of the Morro Bay Modernization and Replacement Project is now available from the California Energy Commission. Both parts one and two can be viewed on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/morrobay/

Part two of the Morro Bay project Final Staff Assessment contains the Commission staff evaluation of the potential impacts on land use, cultural, soil and water resources. The analysis, required by the California Environmental Quality Act, is based on input from the public, local, state and federal agencies. The Final Staff Assessment does not represent a decision or proposed decision on the project.

Like part one, part two of the Final Staff Assessment makes no recommendation on the proposed project. In late January, Commission staff will release part three of the Final Staff Assessment. Part three will analyze the proposal's impact on biological resources, cooling tower options and project alternatives once staff receives necessary information from various, federal, state and local agencies. It will also contain staff's recommendation on the project.

Duke Energy, LLC filed an Application for Certification for the Morro Bay Modernization and Replacement Project with the California Energy Commission on October 23, 2000. The proposal would replace the existing 1,030-megawatt Morro Bay Power Plant units 1, 2, 3 and 4 with two, state-of-the-art, gas-fired, 600-megawatt, combined-cycle units, generating a total of 1,200 megawatts. Each new unit will consist of two gas-fired turbines and one steam turbine with two 145-foot-tall stacks. The total of four new stacks would replace the existing power plant's three stacks that are 450 feet tall.

Hearings giving the public and interested parties a chance to comment on part two of the Staff Assessment will be announced in the next few weeks.

Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission's power plant certification process. People may get involved in a variety of ways. To find out how, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, at 916-654-4489, toll free at 800-822-6228 or by e-mail at: pao@energy.state.ca.us .

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