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For Immediate Release: August 28, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Final Staff Assessment out for Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project

Sacramento -- A final staff assessment (FSA) of the Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project recommends that the 100-megawatt plant be approved with conditions.

In releasing its FSA today, California Energy Commission staff said the project as currently proposed would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.

However, the document said environmental impacts before and after construction would have to be mitigated to "less than significant levels" before the plant can be issued a license to build.

According to the FSA:

  • Proposed mitigation measures are necessary to avoid or minimize potential indirect impacts to biological resources at the Otay River Preserve adjacent to the project during construction.

  • Land use conditions proposed by Energy Commission staff will ensure the project is constructed and operated in accordance with the City of Chula Vista' s minimum Limited Industrial zoning code standards for its Main Street corridor.

  • Although the air district has found that the plant complies with air quality rules and regulations, the applicant MMC Energy Inc. has agreed to fund air quality mitigation programs to be administered by the city.

  • The funding and implementation of the City of Chula Vista water conservation project will offset the potable water used for the power plant. The FSA said the conservation program is consistent with state water use and conservation measures. However, the document recommends that the applicant evaluate the feasibility of converting to recycled water for non-potable plant water uses if it is found to be available in the area during the life of the project.

An Acrobat PDF copy of the FSA is available on the Energy Commission website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/chulavista/documents/.

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

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

The document will serve as staff's testimony at an evidentiary hearing to be conducted by the hearing officer and the committee of two commissioners reviewing this case scheduled for October 2, 2008.

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.

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