For Immediate Release: September 24, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Approves Humboldt Bay Repowering Project

Sacramento - The California Energy Commission has approved the construction of the proposed Humboldt Bay Repowering Project south of Eureka.

By a vote of 4-0, the Commission accepted the advice of a two-member committee to license the 163-megawatt power plant owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

In its presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD), the committee led by Commissioner Jeffrey Byron concluded that the project conforms to all local laws, ordinances, rules regulations and standards.

Through the PMPD, the committee has identified measures required of PG&E to ensure that the plant is designed, constructed, and operated to protect public health and safety and preserve the environment. These measures include:

  • requiring PG&E to update its Health Risk Assessment based on data gathered from periodic emission tests to make sure the plant does not pose a health risk to the public associated with diesel fuel usage;
  • raising the plant's exhaust stacks from 75 feet to 100 feet to improve air emission dispersion
  • enforcing limitations on the duration of time the plant could burn diesel fuel as total combined hours for operating all 10 of the plant's 16.3-MW reciprocating engine-generator sets. The initial limit would be a maximum 510 hours combined a year, and would be updated based on the results of periodic emission tests and Health Risk Assessments. Limited additional hours of diesel operation would be allowed the first year during plant testing.

The plant will rely on diesel when the natural gas supply for power generation is curtailed on occasion during winter in Humboldt County to maintain an adequate supply to residents and businesses.

The Humboldt Bay Repowering Project is near the city of Eureka, on 5.4 acres within a 143-acre parcel currently occupied by the existing PG&E Humboldt Bay Power Plant. Also on the parcel is a currently mothballed nuclear powered unit.

The nuclear portion of the facility is undergoing decommissioning. The project will replace the existing Units 1 and 2 conventional steam turbine generators (105-MW combined) and the two 15-MW Mobile Emergency Power Plants at PG&E's Humboldt Bay Power Plant site with the 10 16.3-megawatt reciprocating engines.

More information on the Humboldt Repowering Project is available at:

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