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For immediate release: August 8, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

SMUD Power Plant Proposal Completes First Phase of Energy Commission Review

Sacramento - The Preliminary Staff Assessment of SMUD's Cosumnes Power Plant Project is available from the California Energy Commission. At this time, the report makes no recommendations on the project. The Commission staff needs more information in several areas to develop recommendations and conclusions for the Final Staff Assessment, which will be issued this fall.

The areas in which the staff requires additional information include air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, transmission system engineering, noise and vibration, water use, and soil resources.

The preliminary analysis of SMUD's plans to construct and operate the Cosumnes Power Plant includes a detailed description of the project along with an analysis of impacts to public health and safety, the environment and the electric transmission system. The report can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/smud/documents/

The Cosumnes Power Plant proposed by SMUD would be a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility, constructed in two phases of 500 megawatts each. Each phase would consist of two combustion turbines, one condensing-steam turbine and two heat-recovery steam generators. While the Preliminary Staff Assessment analyzes aspects of both phases, SMUD is seeking a license now to bring the first phase on-line in 2005. The SMUD Board of Directors will decide in 2003 whether to pursue a separate license for the second phase of the project, which is projected to begin operation after 2008.

Natural gas would be supplied by a 26-mile pipeline to be constructed from the Carson Ice Cogeneration plant in the Laguna area. A new 230-kilovolt transmission line would connect the Cosumnes Power Plant to the electrical system via the existing Rancho Seco switchyard, which is four-tenths of a mile away.

SMUD modified the original project design to include a zero liquid discharge system so that phase one of the facility would use less water from the American River. SMUD will investigate using reclaimed water or another water source for phase two of the project.

A Staff workshop to begin collecting needed information and gather input from the public and other agencies on the Preliminary Staff Assessment for the Cosumnes Power Plant Project will be held in late August. Workshop notices will go out when details are finalized. Written comments are also welcomed and encouraged.

Once the Final Staff Assessment is issued, the SMUD Consumnes Siting Committee, comprised of Energy Commissioner Robert Pernell as Presiding Member and Commissioner Art Rosenfeld as Associate Member, will begin evidentiary hearings on the proposed project.

Public input is an important part of California's power plant certification process. To find out how to get involved, 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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