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For Immediate Release: March 19, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Final Staff Assessment Released for
Victorville Hybrid Power Plant


Sacramento - The staff of the California Energy Commission recommends licensing a 563-megawatt solar/natural gas power plant proposed for Victorville if certain conditions are met.

In a final staff assessment (FSA) released today, the Commission staff said the Victorville 2 Hybrid Power Project as currently proposed would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations, except for one federal regulation still being reviewed. With proposed mitigation measures, the project would also avoid significant adverse impacts.

In the FSA, staff recommends that before the power plant is licensed for construction, its owner, the City of Victorville would have to obtain from the Federal Aviation Administration a determination that the exhaust stacks from the planned facility's heat recovery steam generators would not be a hazard to air navigation at the nearby Southern California Logistics Airport.

Staff also recommends that the city will have to make sure that special-status animal species found on the plant site such as the desert tortoise, Mohave ground squirrel and burrowing owl are protected. These protective measures include a recommendation that the plant owner purchase and preserve in perpetuity habitat lands suitable for these three species at a ratio three times larger than the area to be occupied by the plant and its facilities.

The integrated solar thermal/combined-cycle power plant will occupy 275 acres in northeastern Victorville. The facility's two natural gas-fired combustion turbines, heat recovery systems and steam turbine would be capable of delivering electricity 24 hours a day.

The solar component, made up of parabolic solar-thermal collectors and associated heat transfer equipment will contribute up to 50 megawatts of the plant's output during daylight hours.

The FSA is not a decision or proposed decision on the hybrid power plant project. The document represents the Energy Commission staff's thorough and independent assessment of the project's potential impacts in such areas as the environment, public health and safety, and serves as the functional equivalent of an environmental impact report under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The report will also serve as staff's testimony at an evidentiary hearing to be conducted by the hearing officer and committee of two commissioners reviewing this case. The hearing will be held on April 3, 2008 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Southern California Logistics Airport.

More information on Victorville 2 is available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/victorville2/index.html

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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