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For immediate release: August 28, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Releases Early Analysis of Palomar Energy Project

Sacramento - The Preliminary Staff Assessment of the Palomar Energy Project is now available from the California Energy Commission. At this time, the staff does not have enough information to make a recommendation on the 546-megawatt power plant proposed for a planned industrial park in Escondido. The report is available on the Energy Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/palomar/

Among the items needed for the staff to complete its analysis for the Final Staff Assessment, which will be issued this fall, are a complete offset package and strategy to mitigate air emissions from the proposed facility. More information is also required to assess the proposed plant's impacts on biological resources in the area and the impacts of connecting to the transmission system.

The Preliminary Staff Assessment for the Palomar Energy Center is a staff draft document. It does not represent a decision or proposed decision on the project. It is the staff's preliminary analysis based on a review of the power plant proposal in accordance with the Public Resources Code and the California Environmental Quality Act. The staff will conduct one or more workshops to gather information to resolve the outstanding issues and hear public comment. A workshop notice will be issued when the details are finalized.

The Palomar Energy Center is a 546-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant project proposed by Palomar Energy, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy. If approved, two gas turbines will be combined with two heat-recovery steam generators, duct burners and a steam turbine. State-of-the-art equipment will control air emissions. The plant will be cooled by reclaimed water from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility located just over a mile away. Wastewater from the power plant will then be returned to the water treatment plant.

The project location is a 20-acre site within the proposed Escondido Research and Technology Center industrial park in Escondido at Vineyard Avenue and Enterprise Street, just west of Interstate 15 and south of State Highway 78. The industrial park is subject to a separate review and approval process, with the city of Escondido as the lead agency. The city released its draft Environmental Impact Report on the industrial park on July 26, 2002.

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) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

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