For Immediate Release: February 17, 2009
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Public workshop to be held on Avenal Energy project
preliminary staff assessment

What: The staff of the California Energy Commission will hold a public workshop on the Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) for the 600-megawatt Avenal Energy project in Kings County. Members of the public are invited to attend.

When: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.

Where: District Board Room, Reef-Sunset Unified School District headquarters, 205 N. Park Avenue, Avenal, California.

Why: The workshop will allow the applicant, staff, intervenors, interested agencies and the public to discuss the PSA on the proposed plant. Topics will include air quality, biology, cultural resources, land use and traffic and transportation. From the workshop dialogue and written comments received, Energy Commission staff will revise the document where appropriate and publish a Final Staff Assessment (FSA).

Why: Project owner Avenal Power Center, LLC of Houston, Texas plans to develop the Avenal Energy project on 34 acres of a 148-acre site zoned for industrial use just south of the Fresno County line and two miles east of Interstate 5. The proposed project is six miles from the City of Avenal's residential and commercial districts.

If licensed by the Energy Commission, the $530-million power facility will begin construction in April 2010, with initial startup in October 2011 and full commercial operation by June 2012.

Throughout the project's 12-month licensing review, the Energy Commission will conduct public workshops and hearings in Kings County on the proposed plant to determine whether it should be certified for a license and under what set of conditions.

More information on the Avenal Energy project is available on the Energy Commission website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/avenal/

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