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For Immediate Release: April 22, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y

Attention Editors:

The California Energy Commission Committee reviewing the small power plant exemption (SPPE) for the 96-megawatt Orange Grove project in San Diego County will hold a hearing on its recommendation to deny the plant's SPPE application. Members of the public are invited to participate.

When: Beginning at 1 p. m., Thursday, April 24, 2008.

Where: Hearing Room A, California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California.

Who: The Committee will discuss the rebuttal briefs submitted by staff and the plant applicant prior to the hearing. The Committee will also hear arguments on the merits of a denial of the SPPE and two other options: suspension of the SPPE and the transition from an SPPE to an Application for Certification (AFC).

Why: If a power plant project proposal is between 50 and 100 megawatts, the Commission may excuse it from its regular 12-month AFC process through an SPPE review that usually lasts seven to eight months. Before granting an SPPE, the Commission must first find that the plant will not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment, energy resources, the transmission system, or public health. With an SPPE the applicant will be responsible for obtaining necessary local, state and federal permits to build and operate. The Committee for the Orange Grove plant is recommending denial of the SPPE because the applicant has introduced changes to the plant that undermine the time saving element of an SPPE and which require more environmental review.

What: The proposed 96-MW, simple-cycle Orange Grove Power Plant Project comprises two combustion turbine generators and associated equipment. It is designed as a peaking facility to meet electric generation load during high demand periods. The project would be situated on 8.5 acres within a 202-acre parcel owned by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. about 16 miles east of Fallbrook in northern San Diego County.

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