For immediate release: April 25, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989
Energy Commission Staff Releases
Morro Bay Power Plant Analysis
Sacramento - In the third and final section of the Final Staff
Assessment, California Energy Commission staff states that it cannot
recommend approval of the Morro Bay Modernization and Replacement
Project until the applicant provides a proposal for adequate mitigation
of the aquatic biological resource impacts under California's
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The staff analysis has identified a closed cooling system as an
alternative to the applicant's proposed once-through system to avoid the
biological impacts. If the Regional Water Quality Control Board does not
approve this alternative in their permit, other mitigation measures not
yet proposed by the applicant may meet the CEQA requirements.
With today's release of the third section, all three parts of the
staff's independent analysis of the project can be viewed on the Energy
Commission website at:
Duke Energy, LLC filed an Application for Certification of the Morro Bay
Modernization and Replacement Power Plant Project with the California
Energy Commission on October 23, 2000. The plan would replace the four
old units generating 1,002 megawatts at the current Morro Bay Power
Plant with two, state-of-the-art, gas-fired, combined-cycle units that
would produce a total of 1,200 megawatts. Each new unit will consist of
two gas-fired turbines, two 145-foot tall stacks and one steam turbine.
The four new stacks would be one-third as tall as the three existing
stacks at the power plant.
The new combined-cycle units would utilize selective catalytic reduction
to control emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and an oxidation
catalyst to control carbon monoxide emissions into the air. The next
step in the review process will be evidentiary hearings scheduled for
June 4th through the 6th, with the 7th available if needed, that will
incorporate the information included in the third part of the Final
Staff Assessment of the Morro Bay Modernization and Replacement Project.
The Energy Commission will release a notice with the time and place for
the hearings at least 10 days in advance.
Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission's
power plant licensing process. People who are interested may get
involved by contacting the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta
Mendonca, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail
More information on the Morro Bay Modernization and Replacement Project
is available on the Energy Commission web site at: