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For immediate release: July 18, 2002
Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Riverside County Power Plant Proposal Begins Energy Commission Review
Blythe II would be built adjacent to project already under construction

Sacramento - The Application for Certification of the Blythe Energy Project Phase II officially begins the California Energy Commission review process following Wednesday's vote that found the application data adequate. The Commission's unanimous decision means that there is enough information for the Staff to begin analyzing the Blythe II proposal under the rules of California's 12-month power plant review process.

Blythe II, as proposed by Caithness Blythe II, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caithness Energy, LLC, would be a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant using the latest in emission control technology. Two combustion turbine generators would be teamed with a steam turbine generator and supporting equipment to produce 520 megawatts.

Blythe II is proposed for a site 350 feet from the Blythe Energy Project now under construction. Blythe I is a 520-megawatt, natural gas-fired power plant that is expected to go on-line in March of 2003. The 152-acre parcel that would include both projects is near Interstate 10 and the Blythe Airport, about five miles west of the city of Blythe. Both power plants would connect to the grid at the Buck Boulevard substation. Blythe II might also share facilities approved for the Blythe Energy Project, including control/administration and maintenance buildings; ground water supply and wastewater treatment systems; fire protection facilities and site access roads.

Fuel to run Blythe II would be supplied by an El Paso natural gas pipeline built to serve Blythe I.

The cost of the new project is estimated to be $250 million. If approved by the Energy Commission in its 12-month licensing process, Caithness Blythe II, LLC, hopes get the new facility built and operational by the end of 2004.

The Committee that will oversee the review is made up of Energy Commission Chairman William J. Keese as Presiding Member and Commissioner Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Ph.D., as Associate Member.

Information about the Blythe Energy Project Phase II is available on the Energy Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/blythe2/

The next step in the Energy Commission's review process will be an informational hearing and site tour. The date, time and place of the hearing and tour will be released in the next few weeks. The hearing and site visit provide the public, along with state, local and federal officials, the opportunity to learn more about, and comment on, the project.

Public involvement is a very important part of the Energy Commission's review process. To find out how to participate, call the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, at (916) 654-4989, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

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