For Immediate Release: November 12, 2009
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Final Staff Assessment released for the Carlsbad Energy Center Project

Sacramento – The staff of the California Energy Commission today recommended that the proposed Carlsbad Energy Center Project (CECP) be licensed for construction in northern San Diego County.

In its Final Staff Assessment (FSA), Energy Commission staff concluded that the planned 558 megawatt combined cycle facility would conform to all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS) if licensed with the conditions requiring mitigation as proposed by staff. The FSA concludes that such conditions will mitigate and avoid significant environmental impacts from the project's construction and operation.

The full document is available on the Commission's website at:
www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/carlsbad/documents/

The CECP, proposed in part to replace and close less efficient, existing generation from Encina Power Station Units 1-3, was also evaluated for global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) impacts. The FSA states that the project, as a hybrid base load/peaking project, will effectively reduce carbon emissions by displacing less efficient, more carbon intensive generation sources.

In its FSA, staff determined that the proposed project is consistent with the applicable land use LORS including the Carlsbad General Plan, Municipal Code and Zoning Code, Specific Plan 144, Precise Development Plan 06-02, the Aqua Hedionda Land Use Plan, and the South Carlsbad Coastal Redevelopment Plan.

The FSA is not a decision or proposed decision on the CECP proposal. The document represents the Energy Commission staff's 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 but for the Commission's exclusive licensing jurisdiction. The FSA provides the detailed environmental impact assessment required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Following a planned December 2 workshop in Carlsbad on the air quality aspects of the FSA, the Energy Commission Committee assigned to hear this case will hold a pre-hearing conference and conduct evidentiary hearings. During the hearings, the Committee comprised of Commission Vice-Chair James D. Boyd and Commission Chairman Karen Douglas, will consider the recommendations presented by staff, applicant, intervenors, government agencies, and the public prior to proposing its decision to the full five-member Energy Commission for deliberation and final consideration.

The natural gas powered project in the city of Carlsbad is being proposed on a 23-acre portion of the existing Encina Power Station also owned by NRG Energy. If licensed by the Energy Commission, construction of the power facility from site preparation, demolition and grading to commercial operation is expected to take approximately 25 months.

For more information on the CECP, click on:

www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/carlsbad/

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