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For Immediate Release: August 17, 2007
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Preliminary Staff Assessment for
Eastshore Energy Center in Hayward

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission staff cannot recommend Eastshore Energy Center project approval at this time, according to a preliminary staff assessment (PSA) released today.

The staff assessment cites a possible aviation safety hazard that limits airspace for aircraft approaching the Hayward Executive Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has issued a special Temporary Flight Restriction and Notice to Airmen advising pilots to avoid flying above or near power plants and other similar use facilities. The Eastshore plant would be built within the airport's approach zone, potentially causing significant adverse impacts in the areas of land use and transportation.

The PSA serves as the staff's evaluation of the environmental, engineering, and public health and safety impacts of the proposed power plant project. Staff will conduct public workshops on the PSA September 6, 2007, at Hayward City Hall. After the 30-day comment period closes, the Energy Commission staff will respond to all comments and release a final staff assessment (FSA), which is expected to be published in October 2007.

At its release, the FSA will provide the foundation for staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings to be held by the committee of two Commissioners reviewing the case. Commissioner Jeffrey Byron is the committee's presiding member, and Commissioner John Geesman is the associate member. The committee will then issue a proposed decision based on evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision will be circulated for public review and comment. The presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD) or revised PMPD is then presented to the full Energy Commission for a final decision.

The Eastshore Energy Center is a proposed 115.5 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle power plant that would operate during periods of peak demand. The project would be situated on a 6.22-acre industrial site at 25101 Clawiter Road in Hayward in Alameda County.

Based on information available at this time, Energy Commission staff cannot recommend certification of the Eastshore project at the proposed location without input from the Federal Aviation Administration, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Division of Aeronautics and the Alameda County Airport Land Use Commission regarding airport operations and safety issues. However, if the Commission grants certification for this project, Energy Commission staff proposes conditions of certification to ensure that the project is constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS), and environmental impacts are mitigated to the extent feasible.

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 60 power plants, totaling 23,549 MW. Thirty-six licensed power plants are in operation, producing 12,910 MW. Since Gov. Schwarzenegger took office, 18 of these power plants, totaling 6,913 MW, have been approved. In addition, 13 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 5,685 MW. More information on Energy Commission power plant projects is available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/all_projects.html.

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