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For Immediate Release: October 14, 2004
Contact: Chris Davis   916-654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Assesses Proposal
to Re-license San Jose Power Plant

Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission concludes in the Staff Assessment released today that the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility can be recertified with the inclusion of new proposed Conditions of Certification. The staff believes that if the new conditions are adopted, any impacts from Los Esteros would be reduced to less than significant levels and the project would conform with all laws, regulations and ordinances.

Many of the Conditions of Certification in the original decision to license Los Esteros would be carried over. Among the new conditions that the staff recommends are a provision that would require the owner to report emissions of greenhouse gases from the power plant. A second condition recommends that the facility employ a zero liquid discharge system, if the project owner and City of San Jose are unable to agree on an alternative way to avoid the adverse power plant-related impacts that may have occurred at the nearby San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant.

Re-licensing the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility for the life of the project is only the first phase of the Los Esteros Two Application For Certification. The second phase requests an Energy Commission license to add equipment to convert the 180-megawatt, simple-cycle power plant into a 320-megawatt, combined-cycle facility. That phase of the application will be analyzed in a Preliminary Staff Assessment to be released at a later date.

The Staff Assessment of the recertification of the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility is available on the California Energy Commission website at:


The Staff Assessment is not a final decision on the Los Esteros license renewal application. A proposed decision will be written by the Committee of two Commissioners hearing this proposal in the Energy Commission review process. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Energy Commission for a vote.

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility was first licensed in July 2, 2002 under an emergency licensing process that required the conversion or closure of the power plant within three years. Senate Bill 28X later modified the Public Resources Code to allow the option of re-licensing the facility as a simple-cycle plant.

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility is a 180-megawatt, natural gas-fired, simple-cycle power plant located in North San Jose across Zanker Road from the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant. The facility's owner, Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Calpine.

The Energy Commission staff will hold a workshop to take comments on the Phase I Staff Assessment on:

Friday, October 22, 2004
Beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Clarion Hotel, Park Plaza, San Jose Airport Inn
1355 North 4th Street
San Jose
(Wheelchair Accessible)

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


Reporter Notes:
Please address media inquiries to Chris Davis in the Energy Commission Media & Public Communications office at (916) 654-4989.

The Energy Commission is continuously 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:


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