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For Immediate Release: January 6, 2005
Contact: Chris Davis   916-654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Assesses Proposed Expansion of San Jose Power Plant

Sacramento - The proposal to convert the existing simple-cycle Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility to combined-cycle operation got a recommendation for approval today in the Preliminary Staff Assessment from the California Energy Commission. The staff concludes that the project could be licensed with no significant unmitigated impacts if proposed conditions of certification are adopted and air quality concerns are resolved as expected.

The Preliminary Staff Assessment is not the final decision in this case. The Energy Commission staff will conduct one or more workshops in early February to take comments on the document and resolve any remaining issues before publishing a Final Staff Assessment. The Final Staff Assessment will serve as the staffs testimony at Evidentiary Hearings to be held by the Committee of two Commissioners reviewing this case. The Committee will then issue a proposed decision based on the evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Energy Commission for a final decision.

The Preliminary Staff Assessment of the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility Phase Two is available on the Energy Commission website at:


The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility, licensed July 2, 2002, is an operating simple-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant producing 180 megawatts. The facility is owned by Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Calpine. The plant is located in North San Jose, across Zanker Road from the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant. The proposed expansion would convert Los Esteros to a combined-cycle generation station capable of producing 320 megawatts. If approved and constructed, the combined-cycle facility is expected to be operational by the summer of 2008.

The Energy Commission is also processing a request to relicense the simple-cycle power plant for the life of the project. The original license granted in 2002, approved under an emergency process, expires on July 2, 2005.

Public involvement is an important part of the Energy Commission power plant licensing process. To find out how to get involved in this case, contact the Energy Commissions Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, (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.

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