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


Energy Commission Denies License
for the Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project

Sacramento -The California Energy Commission today voted not to license the proposed Chula Vista Energy Upgrade Project (CVEUP) in San Diego County.

By a unanimous vote, the Commission rejected the 100-megawatt facility that would have been built in Chula Vista's Main Street district on land occupied by an eight-year-old 44.5-MW peaker plant the upgrade project was intended to replace.

The Commission adopted the recommendation of the committee assigned to review the upgrade project.

In a presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD), the committee, led by Commission Vice Chairman James Boyd said the upgrade project should not be permitted because it goes against the city's general plan and zoning rules.

The PMPD said Chula Vista's new general plan adopted after the existing power plant was built requires that the construction of power plants and other major toxic emitters be avoided within 1,000 feet of "sensitive receptors" such as schools and homes. The plant site is within 1300 feet of an elementary school and 350 feet from a residential area. The PMPD said there is no sufficient evidence to show that the project at the proposed location cannot be avoided.

The PMPD also asserted that the proposed facility would run counter to both the city's general plan and zoning ordinance aimed at maintaining the Main Street Corridor as a light industrial district. The city's zoning ordinance provides that electrical generating facilities are to be placed in the general industrial zone.

According to the PMPD, the proposed facility was also not eligible for a Conditional Use Permit under the city's zoning ordinance because it is neither listed as a conditional use in the limited industrial zone, nor is it similar in character to listed conditional uses.

The PMPD also indicates that the proposed facility would violate Chula Vista's zoning ordinance because the zoning for the proposed site requires submission and approval of a precise plan. There is no evidence in the record that MMC Energy, the power plant applicant has submitted such a plan.

In a final staff assessment (FSA) on the project, staff of the Energy Commission recommended that the project, as currently proposed, would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards. Staff reiterated its stand in its comment to the PMPD. However, the committee through the PMPD said that the analysis of reasonable alternatives to the project or to the location of the project in the FSA fails to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and CEQA equivalent process.

More information on the Chula Vista Upgrade Project is available at:

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