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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2004
Contact: Chris Davis   916-654-4989


Energy Commission Staff Recommends
Approval of Kings River Power Plant Proposal

Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission believes that the Kings River Conservation District Peaker Plant can be built with no significant adverse impact on the environment or public health. The staff concludes in the Initial Study of the Kings River Conservation District proposal released today that with approved revisions and Conditions of Exemption the project can be safely licensed and constructed.

The Initial Study of the Kings River Conservation District Peaker Plant is available on the Energy Commission website at:

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

The 97-megawatt power plant proposal is being considered under the Energy Commission's Small Power Plant Exemption process. The Commission is allowed to exempt power plants of up to 100 megawatts from its standard licensing process if the staff's analysis finds that construction and operation of a facility would not result in adverse impacts to the environment, public health and safety, or energy resources.

If the Energy Commission grants the exemption, the Kings River Conservation District will be responsible for obtaining the necessary permits to build and operate the power plant. Local, state and federal agencies will use the Energy Commission's final environmental document to issue their respective permits.

The Kings River Conservation District is seeking approval to build the simple-cycle peaker plant near the community of Malaga, in unincorporated Fresno County. The district received two natural gas-fired turbines in the Williams Marketing and Trading Company settlement of charges that grew out of the 2001 California energy crisis. The electricity generated by the proposed plant will be sold to the California Department of Water Resources under a 10-year contract. The facility is expected to cost $40 million to build.

Written comments on the Initial Study must be submitted to the Energy Commission by March 19, 2004 and addressed to:

Jack Caswell
Kings River Conservation District Peaker Project
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, M.S.-15
Sacramento, California 95814
E-mail: jcaswell@energy.state.ca.us

Comments may also be delivered at a public Evidentiary Hearing to be announced soon.

Following the Evidentiary Hearing, the Committee of two Commissioners guiding this proposal through the Energy Commission review process will write a proposed decision. That document will be presented to the full Energy Commission for a vote. If approved, the Final Decision and Mitigated Negative Declaration will become the document used by the appropriate agencies to issue the permits to construct the power plant.

Public participation is an important part of the Energy Commission power plant review process. To find out how to get involved and submit comments, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at:

pao@energy.state.ca.us

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

The Energy Commission is constantly updating the media database to which we send news releases and news advisories. Members of the media who wish to be added to the database, have their contact information updated, or deleted, should send an e-mail to:

mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us

Please indicate the types of releases in which you are interested, such as power plant siting cases in the San Joaquin Valley.

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