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For Immediate Release: November 8, 2006
Media Contact: Susanne Garfield-Jones - 916-654-4989

California Energy Commission begins review of
Panoche Energy Center

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today has accepted as "complete" an application for the proposed 400-megawatt Panoche Energy Center (PEC). This action starts the Energy Commission's licensing review process.

The Energy Commission voted 4-0 to accept the project as "data adequate," meaning the Commission has enough information to begin the yearlong evaluation process. Commissioner Jeffrey Byron, presiding member, and Commission Vice Chair James Boyd, associate member, will constitute the committee overseeing the process that assures the California Environmental Quality Act is met.

The Panoche Energy Center is a proposed simple-cycle generating facility located on a 12-8-acre site within a 128-acre parcel about 50 miles west of Fresno within western Fresno County. The project will include four natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators.

The plant will connect to the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) electrical transmission system at the adjacent Panoche Substation. The connection will require approximately 300 feet of 230-kilovolt transmission line located within the plant site and PG&E's substation. Interconnection at this substation minimizes impacts to the PG&E transmission system. The power plant will supply power during peak demand under a 20-year power purchase agreement with PG&E.

Construction for the PEC is expected to begin in January 2008 after the Energy Commission issues the construction and operating license. Construction will continue through January 2009, and commissioning will begin in February 2009. The total cost of the PEC is expected to be more than $300 million.

Throughout the project's 12-month licensing process, the Energy Commission will conduct public workshops and hearings on the proposal to determine whether it should be approved for construction and operation and under what set of permit conditions. More information on the Panoche Energy Center is available on the Energy Commission website at:


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