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For immediate release: August 8, 2003
Contact: Chris Davis (916) 654-4989

Turlock Power Plant Proposal Gets Favorable Staff Review

Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission released Part One of the Final Staff Assessment today for the Walnut Energy Center, proposed by the Turlock Irrigation District. The report contains the staff's analysis and recommended conditions of certification for the power plant in all areas except Hazardous Materials Management. It finds that in those areas analyzed so far, environmental impacts can be mitigated and the project could comply with all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.

Part two of the Final Staff Assessment will include the Hazardous Materials Management analysis, along with the staff's final recommendations and proposed conditions of certification for the project. That document will be released as soon as the hazardous materials analysis is completed.

Part One of the Final Staff Assessment of the Walnut Energy Center is available for viewing or printing on the Energy Commission website at:


The Final Staff Assessment does not represent a decision or proposed decision on the project. The document will serve as the Energy Commission staff's testimony at upcoming evidentiary hearings. Testimony from other government agencies involved in the review, along with that of the applicant and other interested parties, will also be considered by the Committee of two Energy Commissioners seeing the case through the review process. The Committee will then write a proposed decision based on the evidence, which will be submitted for consideration by the full Commission.

The Walnut Energy Center proposal from the Turlock Irrigation District is for a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant. Two combustion-turbine generators, combined with two heat-recovery steam generators and a steam-turbine generator would produce 250-megawatts. The facility would be located in the city of Turlock, near the intersection of West Main Street and Washington Road. The land is zoned for industrial use but is currently used for agricultural production.

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 next step in the Energy Commission's project review will be a second Pre-hearing Conference and Evidentiary Hearing on uncontested issues on:

Monday, August 25, 2003
Beginning at 10 a.m.
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street
Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Public input is an important part of the California Energy Commission power plant review process. To find out how to get involved, contact the 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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