For Immediate Release: October 10, 2008
Media Contact: PERCY DELLA - 916-654-4989


Final staff assessment out for proposed CPV Sentinel Energy Power Project

Sacramento -- Staff of the California Energy Commission does not have sufficient information to complete the air quality analysis of the proposed CVP Sentinel Energy Project and therefore cannot recommend licensing the 850-megawatt facility at this time, a document released today said.

In a final staff assessment (FSA) of the planned project, Energy Commission staff said the project applicant, Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures must identify emission reduction credits (ERCs) needed to offset the facility's emissions.

Otherwise, the FSA concludes that the project as currently proposed would comply with all other applicable laws, ordinances and regulations and standards (LORS) and that environmental impacts from the proposed peaker plant could be mitigated to less than significant levels.

The plant owner can no longer obtain ERCs from the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Priority Reserve because of a recent ruling from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. In response to a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups, the Court decided to prevent the District from making ERCs in the Priority Reserve available to power plants without conducting more analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The FSA is not a decision or proposed decision on the CPV Sentinel 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 its compliance with all LORS including those that would apply to the project under the Commission's exclusive licensing jurisdiction. The FSA provides the detailed environmental impact assessment required by CEQA.

The document will serve as staff's testimony at an evidentiary hearing scheduled on November 3, 2008 by the hearing officer and the committee of two commissioners reviewing this case.

The CPV Sentinel Energy Project is a $440 million simple-cycle plant being proposed for Commission approval by Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. The natural gas-fired project would be built on 37 acres in unincorporated Riverside County near Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs. The planned project is adjacent to several wind farms and the Southern California Edison Devers substation off State Route 62.

If approved by the Commission, the project would be constructed over an 18-month period. The project developer has been planning to fire up the first five of eight turbines by March of 2010.The final three are expected to operate beginning in May 2012.

Once built, the CPV Sentinel Project would be available to provide quick-starting capacity, energy and ancillary services to Southern California when electricity demand is high in a region that continues to grow and strains the electricity grid during the hot summer months. Southern California Edison has agreed to buy the power generated from the project.

More information on the CPV Sentinel Energy Project is available at:

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