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Presiding member's proposed decision
out on Colusa County power plant
Sacramento - A California Energy Commission committee assigned to review a proposed Colusa County power plant today recommended the project be approved if certain conditions are met.
In its Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD) on the 660-megawatt Colusa Generating Station, the committee led by Commissioner James D. Boyd stressed that the facility can be licensed if the owner can work with the Maxwell Fire Protection District to address emergency response concerns.
The plant proposed, 14 miles north of Williams, will be within the jurisdiction of the all-volunteer district. The fire chief has expressed concern over the district's ability to respond to an emergency at the plant, such as a hazardous materials release, and has proposed the hiring and training of full time staff to do the job.
The PMPD recommends that funding be provided by the plant owner, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), to the fire district so it can sufficiently serve the local community and the proposed facility. The PMPD requires PG&E to thresh out the emergency response concerns with the fire district, using a third party consultant if necessary.
The PMPD says the Energy Commission compliance project manager for the project will oversee the process and have the final say in the event of an impasse. PG&E will put up $230,000 up front for the fire district to be credited against whatever arrangement is ultimately decided upon.
The document also asks the plant owner to address the impacts of using a temporary "jumper" bridge over the Glenn-Colusa Canal Bridge. The jumper bridge will carry the traffic and bear the load for equipment and materials during plant construction.
The committee will review its recommendations after a 30-day comment period before the PMPD goes to the full Energy Commission for a final vote on April 23, 2008.
The Colusa Generating Station is proposed on a 31-acre portion of a 100-acre parcel on the Holthouse Ranch property, north of Williams in Colusa County. If it receives a license from the Energy Commission, project construction is scheduled to occur over 24 months, beginning this year. Pacific Gas and Electric Company would begin generating electricity by the spring of 2010. The construction cost is estimated between $450 million and $500 million. The PMPD for the Colusa Generating Station 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 65 power plants, totaling 24,566 MW. Thirty-eight licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Gov. Schwarzenegger took office, 20 of these power plants, totaling 7,530 MW have been approved. In addition, 19 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7,651 MW.
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