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For Immediate Release: October 7, 2005
Media Contact: Mary Ann Costamagna - 916-654-4989

Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility Phase 2 Committee Finds It Cannot Recommend Project Licensing


Sacramento - The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility (LECEF) Phase 2 Energy Commission Siting Committee has found it cannot recommend licensing of the project. According to the Proposed Decision released today, the City of San Jose has not made necessary zoning revisions to allow licensing of the project, preventing the Committee from recommending full-Commission approval of the proposal.

Currently, the LECEF is zoned by the City of San Jose for the existing 180-megawatt (MW) power plant. The project applicant, Calpine, has submitted an application for Energy Commission certification to increase the plant's generation to 320 MW.

With the exception of this zoning compliance issue, the Committee has determined that the proposed project, in all other aspects, meets all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards as required by law for project approval.

As a result, the Committee expects to hear from the case participants in the near future concerning the City of San Jose's progress in considering the re-zoning of the power plant site.

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility is a natural gas-fired, simple-cycle power plant in North San Jose. As part of the Phase 2 Application for Certification, the existing plant was recertified on March 16, 2005. Today's Proposed Decision pertains to the part of the application that requests a license to convert the existing facility from a simple-cycle to a combined-cycle operation capable of producing 320-megawatts.

The Committee's Proposed Decision on Phase 2 reports that if the re-zoning issue is solved, the project will offer improved reliability for the San Jose-area transmission system, improved local system reliability and voltage support, increased local generation and reduced transmission overloads and losses. The Calpine project would also offer local economic benefits that include increased tax revenues, employment, sales of services and manufactured goods and equipment, according to the Decision.

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision recommending licensing of the Los Esteros Phase 2 Project is available on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/losesteros2/documents

The Committee overseeing this license application includes Energy Commissioner Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Presiding Member, and Commission Chairman Joe Desmond, Associate Member. Comments on the proposed decision will be accepted by the Committee through November 7, 2005. Depending on the comments received, the Committee may elect to issue an errata, a revised proposed decision or present this proposed decision to the full Energy Commission for a Final Decision.

Public participation in an important part of the Energy Commision's power plant licensing process. To find out how to participate in this case, contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at: pao@energy.state.ca.us

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