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For Immediate Release: August 2, 2006
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield-Jones - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y

California Energy Commission to Hold Hearing
and Site Visit for El Centro Repower Project


Sacramento - Interested parties will have the opportunity to learn more about a proposal to boost the El Centro Unit 3 power plant's generating capacity at an informational hearing and site visit August 4. A committee of the California Energy Commission will conduct the public hearing and site visit as the first step toward determining if the project can qualify for the Commission's less complex Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE) process instead of the full certification process. If the Commission issues an SPPE, the Imperial Irrigation District, which owns the power plant, would permit the project based on the results of the SPPE.

Date/Time: Friday, August 4, 2006
Site visit begins at 1 p.m.
Committee hearing begins at 2 p.m. following site visit.
Location: Imperial Irrigation District, Bill Condit Auditorium
1285 Broadway, El Centro

At the informational hearing, the public, neighboring landowners, and other government officials will have an opportunity to obtain information and offer comments on the proposal. Imperial Irrigation District staff will explain the district's plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. The Energy Commission staff will explain the regulatory review process and staff members' role as independent experts in analyzing the project. The applicant and the Commission staff will also discuss possible significant issues during the remainder of the proceeding.

The Imperial Irrigation District filed a proposal May 19 to replace El Centro Unit 3's existing boiler with a combustion turbine and heat recovery steam generator. The repower project will increase the power plant's generating capacity from 44 megawatts (MW) to 128 MW. Under California Public Research Code Section 25541, the Energy Commission may grant exemptions for changes to existing power plants that do not add more than 100 MW capacity if the modifications don't adversely affect the environment or energy resources. A proposal granting an exemption is subject to local permitting processes. The project is at the El Centro Generating Station, 485 East Villa Road, El Centro. The El Centro Generating Station consists of four units.

Because of the forecast temperatures in El Centro, informal warm weather dress is encouraged.

More information about the project is available on the Energy Commission website at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/elcentro/index.html.

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