The staff of the California Energy Commission concludes, in the Final Initial Study released today, that the Riverside Energy Resource Center can be built without causing significant impact to the environment, public health, or energy resources. The report also includes the staff's recommended Conditions of Exemption that would allow the peaking power plant to be safely licensed and constructed.
The Final Initial Study of the Riverside Energy Resource Center is available on the Energy Commission website at:
The Riverside Energy Resource Center 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, after Evidentiary Hearings, the Energy Commission grants the exemption, Riverside Public Utilities 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 city of Riverside Public Utilities is seeking approval to build and operate a
96-megawatt, simple-cycle facility on a portion of a 12-acre site next to the city's wastewater treatment plant, about one-half mile north of the Riverside Airport. Two natural gas-fired turbines would generate electricity when the demand is greatest. Reclaimed water from the treatment plant next door would cool the power plant. A zero-liquid discharge system would eliminate the need to release any wastewater from the facility.
More information on the project is available on the Energy Commission website at:
Hearings on the Initial Study findings begin August 5, 2004 at the California Energy Commission and continue August 6 if necessary. Evidentiary Hearings will continue in Riverside on August 30, 31 and September 1, 2004. Details on the hearings are available on the Energy Commission website at:
Following the Evidentiary Hearings, the Committee of two Commissioners hearing this proposal in the Energy Commission review process will produce 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 Small Power Plant Exemption process. To find out how to participate in this case, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at:
Media inquiries should be addressed to Chris Davis in the Energy Commission Media and Public Communications office at (916) 654-4989.
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