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For immediate release: January 24, 2003
Media Contact: Chris Davis - (916) 654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Recommends Approval
of Escondido Power Plant Proposal

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission Final Staff Assessment released today recommends licensing the proposed Palomar Energy Project.

The Energy Commission Staff qualified the recommendation by noting that an agreement still needs to be reached with the applicant on mitigation measures proposed in the report to reduce air quality and visual impacts of the plant. One or more workshops will be scheduled in the weeks to come to discuss the proposals and work toward agreement with the applicant, Palomar Energy, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

The Final Staff Assessment of the Palomar Energy Project can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/palomar/documents/

The Final Staff Assessment is not a decision or proposed decision on the Palomar Energy Project. The report represents staff's independent assessment of the project's potential impacts on the environment, public health and safety, and its compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards. The document will also serve as Staff's testimony at Evidentiary Hearings to be held by the Committee of two Energy Commissioners overseeing this case. At the hearings, the Committee will also hear the recommendations of the applicant, other government agencies and interested parties before drafting a proposed decision on the project.

As proposed, the Palomar Energy Project would be a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired electrical generation facility located in the city of Escondido. The 20-acre site is west of Interstate 15 and south of Highway 78, near the intersection of Vineyard Avenue and Enterprise Street within the proposed Escondido Research and Technology Center industrial park.

If the plant is licensed by the Energy Commission, two combustion gas turbines, combined with two heat-recovery steam generators and a steam turbine, will produce 546 megawatts. Dry low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) combustors, selective catalytic reduction and an oxidation catalyst will be incorporated to reduce the emission of air pollutants.

The plans call for reclaimed water to cool the power plant from the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility, delivered via a new 1.1-mile pipeline from an existing water main. No new transmission lines are needed because the Escondido-Sycamore Canyon transmission line runs along the western edge of the power plant site.

Public participation is a very important part of the Energy Commission's power plant licensing process. To find out how to get involved in this case, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at:

Pao@energy.state.ca.us

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