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For Immediate Release: April 16, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission to review Riverside's application
for power plant exemption

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today voted 5-0 to review an application from the City of Riverside for a small power plant exemption (SPPE).

Commissioner Karen Douglas will serve as presiding member and Vice Chair James D. Boyd will be the alternate member of the Committee that will analyze the city's SPPE application to add two generators (Units 3 and 4) to its existing natural gas-fired Riverside Energy Resource Center.

The new units will increase the peaker plant's electricity production by 95 megawatts. Currently, the facility, also excused by the Commission from its regular review process in 2004 and began operation in 2006, has a production capacity of 96-MW.

If a power plant proposal is between 50 and 100 megawatts, the Commission may exempt it from its yearlong review process under an SPPE. However, the Commission must first find that the plant will not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment, the transmission system, or public health and complies with all laws, ordinances and regulations (LORS).

The time frame for the Commission's SPPE process usually averages between seven to eight months. With an SPPE, an applicant will be responsible for obtaining all necessary local, state, and federal permits to build and operate a proposed power plant. Local and state agencies would use the Energy Commission's mitigated negative declaration exemption document when issuing their respective permits in line with the California Environmental Quality Act.

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, 20 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 8357 MW.

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