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For Immediate Release: April 29, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Initial assessment of Chula Vista power plant
expansion project released


Sacramento --The California Energy Commission today released a preliminary staff assessment (PSA) on the 100-megawatt Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project. The PSA concludes that the proposed project could be licensed without causing significant environmental impacts if staff's proposed mitigation measures are implemented.

The Chula Vista project is a simple-cycle, natural gas-fired peaker plant in the city of Chula Vista in San Diego County. The proposed facility, to be ramped up only in times of high electricity demand, would replace the Chula Vista Power Plant currently located on a 3.8 acre parcel on the Main Street industrial corridor and within the city's light industrial district. In the PSA:

  • Staff and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommend that the map boundaries of City of Chula Vista's sub area plan under the Multi-Species Conservation Plan of San Diego County be corrected to reflect that no part of the Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project encroaches on the preserve. With this correction, the proposed power plant will be in compliance with all Laws, Ordinances, Regulations, and Standards (LORS).

  • Staff proposes, after a review of the City of Chula Vista General Plan and the Special Use Permit issued for the Chula Vista Power Plant in 2000, that the plant owner, MMC Energy Inc. would submit a development plan to the City of Chula Vista for review and comment. This would to ensure that the project and its associated facilities are constructed and operated in compliance with the City of Chula Vista's Limited Industrial (I-L) Zone requirements.

  • Staff recommends a secondary access gate to the proposed project to make it comply with both the California Fire Code and the Uniform Fire Code.

  • The San Diego Air Pollution Control District has determined that the project complies with the appropriate rules and requirements of the District and will not contribute to the degradation of the air quality. The applicant has identified all required emissions reductions credits needed for operation of the proposed project.

  • Transmission system impacts and appropriate mitigation have been fully identified at this point and are acceptable and would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards. The project interconnection to the grid would not require additional downstream transmission facilities.

The PSA is not a decision on the proposed plant. It serves as the staff's preliminary assessment of the environmental, engineering, and safety impacts of the proposed power plant project. After the 30-day comment period closes, the Energy Commission will respond to all comments and release its final staff assessment (FSA).

The FSA will be considered staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings to be held in Chula Vista by the committee of two Commissioners reviewing this case. Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel is the committee's presiding member and Vice Chairman James D. Boyd is the associate member. The committee will then issue a proposed decision based on the evidence at the hearings.

If approved by the Energy Commission, project construction is expected to begin in fall 2008 and cost about $80 million. The Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project is planned to begin generating electricity by fall 2009.

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 66 power plants, totaling 25226 MW. Thirty-eight licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Governor Schwarzenegger took office, 21 of these power plants, totaling 8190 MW have been approved. In addition, 19 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7697 MW.

Chula Vista Project Documents Page: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/chulavista/documents/

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