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March 16, 2005 Phone: 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Recertifies South Bay Power Plant

Sacramento - The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility has a license to continue operating for many years to come as a result of today's action by the California Energy Commission. Commissioners voted four to nothing to re-license the 180-megawatt, North San Jose power plant.

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility was originally licensed in July 2002 by the Energy Commission. The emergency permitting process under which the natural gas-fired power plant was licensed required recertification, conversion to combined-cycle operation, or closure of the facility after three years.

Today's Energy Commission action comes in response to an Application For Certification that also seeks permission to convert the simple-cycle Los Esteros plant to a more efficient combined-cycle operation, increasing the power output to 320 megawatts.

The conversion is still under review by the Energy Commission staff, which is working on the Final Staff Assessment. The Los Esteros Committee will address the conversion in a proposed decision to be released following Evidentiary Hearings, which will follow the release of the Final Staff Assessment.

More information on the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility Phase Two application is available on the Energy Commission website at:


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


Since deregulation occurred in California, the Energy Commission has licensed - or given Small Power Plant Exemptions to - 52 facilities, totaling 22,066 megawatts. Twenty four of those power plants are in operation, producing 8,311 megawatts.

Another facility, the Pico Power Project, also known as the Donald Von Raesfeld Power Plant, is expected to begin commercial operation this Friday, March 18, 2005. The combined-cycle facility will provide 147 megawatts to the city of Santa Clara. In addition, seven more power plants are expected to come on-line this year in California to add 2,051 megawatts to the grid.

Reporter notes:

Media inquiries should be addressed to either Chris Davis or Mary Ann Costamagna 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:


Please indicate the types of information in which you are interested, such as Bay Area power plant cases, gasoline prices and supplies, renewable energy, energy conservation, natural gas, or electricity supply and demand.

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