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For Immediate Release: December 12, 2007
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on Starwood Power Project in Fresno County


Sacramento - A document released today by the California Energy Commission recommends approval of a proposed power plant in Western Fresno County, if certain conditions are met.

The Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD) on the Starwood Power Project near Mendota recommends approval of the facility. The PMPD said the owners of the proposed 120-megawatt facility, Starwood Midway, LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut, would be required to meet applicable air quality, noise and water resources requirements.

The Energy Commission licensing committee composed of Commissioner Jeffrey Byron and Commissioner John Geesman said that in order for the project to comply with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards, it would have to:

  • Minimize project emissions by use of the best available control technology, and as necessary, fully provide emission reduction credits to offset the air pollutants the project will emit
  • Implement a pre-existing agreement with the owner of an adjacent residential property to relocate its tenants before the start of noisy construction; and
  • Use the most degraded water reasonably available, which is low-quality groundwater from an existing well to cool its turbines.

The Committee will review its recommendations after a 30-day comment period before the PMPD goes to the full Commission for a final vote on January 16, 2008.

The proposed simple-cycle natural gas-fueled power plant will be built on a 5.6-acre site within a 128-acre parcel located near Mendota, about 50 miles west of Fresno. The facility, to be fired up only in times of high electricity demand, will include two combustion turbine generators. Electricity generated from the facility would meet the requirements of a 15-year power purchase contract with Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Assuming the Starwood Power Project receives a license from the Energy Commission by January 2008, construction of the project would begin in June 2008.

The power plant could begin generating electricity by May 2009. The PMPD for the Starwood Power Project is available on the Energy Commission's website:
http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/starwood/index.html

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 63 power plants, totaling 23,546 MW. Forty licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took office, 18 of these power plants, totaling 6,913 MW, have been approved. In addition, 19 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7,671 MW. More information about Energy Commission power plant projects is available at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/all_projects.html

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