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For immediate release: May 15, 2003
Media Contact: Chris Davis - (916) 654-4989

Early Energy Commission Staff Analysis Appears
Promising for Turlock Power Plant Proposal

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission Preliminary Staff Assessment of the proposed Walnut Energy Center indicates the project poses no impacts that cannot be mitigated. However, more information is needed in three areas. The staff is awaiting results of surveys to determine whether the Turlock Irrigation District project would adversely impact biological resources in the area. The staff is also requesting more information in the areas of cultural resources and hazardous material handling.

The Energy Commission staff will present a complete analysis of the three areas. The Final Staff Assessment, which will also include recommendations, will be issued following a 30-day review and comment period on the Preliminary Staff Assessment.

The Turlock Irrigation District is seeking approval to construct and operate the Walnut Energy Center, a 250-megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant. The facility would be located near the intersection of West Main Street and Washington Road, within the city of Turlock in Stanislaus County.

If approved and built, the Walnut Energy Center will consist of two combustion turbine generators, two heat-recovery steam generators and a condensing steam turbine. Emissions of air pollutants will be controlled by dry, low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) combustors, selective catalytic reduction and an oxidation catalyst.

The Turlock Irrigation District hopes to begin construction in the first quarter of 2004 and have the plant in full operation by the second quarter of 2006.

The Preliminary Staff Assessment for the proposed Walnut Energy is available on the Energy Commission website at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/turlock/documents


The document does not represent a decision or proposed decision on the Walnut Energy Center. The Energy Commission staff will conduct one or more workshops in June 2003 to receive comments on the Preliminary Staff Assessment and resolve any remaining issues.

The Energy Commission will also accept written comments on the Preliminary Staff Assessment through June 23, 2003. Comments must be addressed to:

Walnut Energy Center
Attn: Bob Eller

California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS 15
Sacramento, CA 95814

- or by e-mail -

BEller@energy.state.ca.us

Public input is an important part of the California Energy Commission power plant licensing 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



Media inquiries should be addressed to Chris Davis at (916) 654-4989.

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