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For immediate release: May 31, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee Recommends Approval for Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility

Sacramento -- The proposed Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility should be licensed by the full California Energy Commission. That is the recommendation in the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released today by the Siting Committee overseeing the Energy Commission's review of the project. Los Esteros would be a 180-megawatt, simple-cycle power plant on a 15-acre site in North San Jose at Highway 237 and Zanker Road.

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is not a final decision on Los Esteros. The full Energy Commission will vote whether to grant an expedited license under Public Resources Code 25552 following a 30-day review period for this report, which is available on the Energy Commission website at:


The Los Esteros Siting Committee consists of Energy Commission Chairman William J. Keese as Presiding Member and Commissioner James D. Boyd as Associate Member. The Committee will hold a public conference to receive comments on the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on:

Monday, June 24, 2002
Beginning at 9 a.m.
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

The Energy Commission is also accepting written comments on the Proposed Decision through June 28, 2002. Anyone wishing to submit written comments must address them to:

California Energy Commission
Docket Unit, MS-4
Attn: Docket No. 01-AFC-12
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility is a proposal of Calpine c* Power. The project's key goals are selling power under contract to the California Department of Water Resources to supply South Bay energy needs and providing a reliable source of electricity to the U.S. Dataport Project planned for construction on an adjacent site.

The plant as now envisioned will be much cleaner than the original proposal, which called for 84 two-megawatt diesel backup generators, six oil-fired emergency generators and four dual-fuel-fired 10-megawatt turbines. The plans now call for:

  • four General Electric natural gas-fired LM6000 turbines producing 180 megawatts in simple-cycle mode,
  • a 115-kilovolt switchyard,
  • a 200-foot transmission line connecting to Pacific Gas & Electric's approved but yet-to-be-built Los Esteros substation,
  • 550 feet of new natural gas supply line and
  • approximately 1,000 feet of recycled water supply line.

Phase two of Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility would convert the plant from simple-cycle to a combined-cycle, 260-megawatt facility with the addition of four heat recovery steam generators and two steam turbines. That conversion is required to take place within three years of licensing under Public Resources Code section 25552. Section 25552 also requires the project to be on-line by December 31, 2002. Calpine plans to accomplish that goal with an around-the-clock construction schedule.

The vote of the full Energy Commission on the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility is scheduled for a Special Business Meeting on:

Tuesday, July 2, 2002
Beginning at 10 a.m.
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission review process. For information on how to get involved, contact the 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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