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For Immediate Release: December 17, 2003
Contact: Chris Davis -916-654-4989


Central California Power Plant Proposal Begins Energy Commission Review

Sacramento - The Kings River Conservation District proposal to receive a Small Power Plant Exemption for a 97-megawatt power plant took its first step forward with today's action by the California Energy Commission. The Commission assigned a Committee of two Commissioners to oversee the proposal through the exemption review process.

The Energy Commission may exempt power plants of up to 100 megawatts from its usual licensing process if it finds that the project will not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment, public health, or the transmission system. If the Energy Commission grants the exemption, the Kings River Conservation District will be responsible for obtaining all necessary local, state, and federal permits to build and operate the proposed facility. Local and state agencies will use the Energy Commission's document when issuing their respective permits.

The power plant proposed by the district would be built around two General Electric natural gas-fired turbines that were part of a settlement between the California Department of Water Resources and the Williams Energy Marketing and Trading Company. The settlement grew out of charges against the Williams Company in the 2001 energy crisis in California. The facility, which is expected to cost approximately $40 million to build, would sell power to the California Department of Water Resources under a ten-year contract.

Each of the combustion turbine generators would be installed in a simple-cycle power plant configuration on a single, nine-and-a-half acre site. The site is located south of Fresno, near the community of Malaga in Fresno County. Air emissions would be controlled by a state-of-the-art selective catalytic reduction system. The peaking plant would release no wastewater due to a zero liquid discharge system.

More information is available on the Kings River Conservation District Peaking Plant on the Energy Commission website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/kingsriver

The Kings River Conservation District Peaking Plant Committee will consist of Energy Commissioner James D. Boyd as Presiding Member and Commission Chairman William J. Keese as Associate Member. The Committee will soon sponsor an informational hearing and site visit, at which members of the public, other agencies and interested parties will have an opportunity to learn more about the project. The Energy Commission will issue a notice to interested parties well in advance of the event.

Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission's Small Power Plant Exemption Process. To find out how to participate, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret Kim, at (800) 822-6228 or by e-mail at:
pao@energy.state.ca.us

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