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For Immediate Release: January 24, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y

Site visit and info hearing for proposed San Luis Obispo solar thermal
power plant scheduled for January 29

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has scheduled a site visit and informational hearing for the proposed 175-megawatt Carizzo Energy Solar Farm (CESF) project in San Luis Obispo County.

When: Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where: A bus leaves for the site visit at 4pm from the Carrisa Plains Heritage Association Community Center (formerly known as the Farm Center), 10750 Carrisa Highway, Santa Margarita. The informational hearing will be held at the Center beginning at 5:30pm.

Who: Energy Commission Chairman Jakalyne Pfannenstiel, presiding member of the Committee reviewing the plant's application will lead the site visit and conduct the informational hearing. These steps are the first in a formal review process that allows the public, governmental agencies and other interested parties to participate in the review of the planned power plant.

What: The Commission began the review of the proposed plant's application on December 19, 2007. Project owner Ausra, Inc. of Palo Alto proposes to develop the solar thermal facility on 640 acres of unincorporated San Luis Obispo County near Simmler west of the Kern County line. The project design will incorporate Ausra's proprietary method of concentrating solar energy on pipes in an elevated receiver. The solar energy boils water within a row of specially coated stainless steel pipelines in an insulated cavity to produce saturated steam for the generators. Steam used by the turbines would be condensed back to water and returned to the solar field.

Why: If licensed by the Commission, the solar farm will begin construction in 2009. The project is expected to go on line and contribute electricity to the grid on or before May 2010.

Throughout the project's 12-month licensing review, the Energy Commission will conduct public workshops and hearings in San Luis Obispo County on the proposed plant to determine whether it should be approved for construction and under what set of conditions. More information on the Carrizo Energy Solar Farm project is available on the Energy Commission website at:


Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 64 power plants, totaling 24,066 MW. Thirty-nine licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Gov. Schwarzenegger took office, 19 of these power plants, totaling 7,030 MW have been approved. In addition, 18 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7,351 MW. More information about Energy Commission power plant projects is available at:


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