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For Immediate Release: December 19, 2007
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission approves license for
Panoche Energy Center in Western Fresno County

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission by a vote of 5-0 today approved the construction of the 400-megawatt Panoche Energy Center in western Fresno County.

The Commission accepted the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD), which recommended a license for the simple-cycle power plant that would provide standby power in times of high electricity demand.

The facility was licensed after the owner, Panoche Energy Center LLC demonstrated its ability to satisfy air quality, noise, traffic and building code requirements spelled out in the PMPD.

The Panoche Energy Center will be located on a 12.8-acre site within a 128-acre parcel southwest of Mendota. It will include four natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators.

The $300-million plant will connect with the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) electrical transmission system at the adjacent Panoche Substation under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the utility. The connection will require about 300 feet of a 230-kilovolt transmission line from the plant site to the substation to minimize impact on PG&E's transmission system.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in January 2008 and would continue through January 2009. Targeted on-line date is August 2009.

More information on the Panoche Energy Center is available on the Energy Commission's website at:


Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 63 power plants, totaling 23,946 MW. Thirty-nine licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Gov. Schwarzenegger took office, 18 of these power plants, totaling 6,910 MW, have been approved. In addition, 18 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7,271 MW. More information about Energy Commission power plant projects is available at:


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