For Immediate Release: October 30, 2009
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Final Staff Assessment recommends licensing the
Tracy Combined Cycle Power Plant in San Joaquin County

SACRAMENTO - The staff of the California Energy Commission today recommended licensing the expansion of an existing 169-megawatt simple cycle power plant in San Joaquin County to a 314-MW combined cycle facility.

In its final staff assessment (FSA), Energy Commission staff said the Tracy Combined Cycle Power Plant project conforms to all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS). With the effective implementation of the proposed conditions of certification, the plant can be constructed and operated safely and reliably, said the FSA.

The expanded power project would occupy a 16.38-acre, fenced site within the existing 40-acre parcel owned by the applicant, GWF Power Systems of Pittsburg, California. The site sits on an unincorporated portion of San Joaquin County, just southwest of Tracy.

The project's interconnection to the transmission grid via an existing overhead transmission line with an existing Pacific Gas and Electric switching station follows all LORS, according to the FSA.

The staff said the project has complied with the rules and requirements of the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District and has identified sufficient emission reduction credits consistent with applicable air district, state, and federal rules.

The Tracy Combined Cycle Power Plant project was also evaluated for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with an Energy Commission Order Instituting Informational Proceeding, which provided guidance for fulfilling its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) responsibilities for power plant siting projects. It is expected that the California Air Resources Board will develop regulations requiring mitigation of power plant GHG emissions in the future.

The FSA is not a final decision on the Tracy Combined Cycle Plant. It is available on the Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/tracyexpansion/documents/

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 in San Joaquin County to be presided by a committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed plant.

If approved, construction of GWF Tracy could begin in the fall of 2010 and commercial operation in June of 2012.

# # #