For Immediate Release: September 14, 2009
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Site visit and informational hearing September 16 in Tupman
for Hydrogen California Project

Attention City and Assignment Editors:

What: The California Energy Commission committee assigned to review the 250-megawatt Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) Power Project in West Kern County will hold a site visit and informational hearing. Members of the public are invited to participate.

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where: Elk Hills School, 501 Kern Street, Tupman, California

Free bus for participants leaves from the school at 5pm to the site of the proposed plant. The bus will return in time for the informational hearing at 6pm.

Who: Energy Commissioner James D. Boyd, presiding member of the committee that will ensure that the project meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, will lead the site visit and informational hearing. These steps are the first in a formal process that allows the public, governmental agencies and other interested parties to participate in the review of the planned power plant.

Why: The HECA project is an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant that will capture and permanently store 90 percent of its carbon dioxide. The proposed facility will take petroleum coke, coal or blends of each, combined with non-potable water and will convert them into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen is used to generate electricity, while the carbon dioxide is compressed and piped to the neighboring oil reservoirs and injected for storage to enhance oil recovery.

The plant will be located on 473-acres about 7 miles west of Bakersfield and 1.5 miles northwest of the unincorporated community of Tupman. The site is near a hydrocarbon-producing area known as the Elk Hills Field, now currently used primarily for agricultural purposes. The HECA plant is one of a handful of its kind built or proposed in the world. Existing IGCC plants are located in Belgium, Spain and China.

If approved, HECA will begin construction in 2011, with full commercial operation expected by 2015.

More information on the proposed plant is available at:

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