For Immediate Release: December 22, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Final Staff Assessment Released for Proposed Palmdale Hybrid Power Project

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today released the final staff assessment (FSA) for the proposed Palmdale Hybrid Power Project in Los Angeles County.

In the FSA, Energy Commission staff concludes that as proposed the 570-megawatt hybrid facility does not conform to all laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS) and has unmitigated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) impacts in the area of air quality. But conformance can be achieved if the Commission adopts the staff's proposed conditions in air quality.

The project is located in the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, but because of limited availability of ozone precursor emissions reduction credits (ERCs) in the District, the project wants to obtain ERCs from the neighboring, upwind San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The applicant has not yet identified sufficient offsets or provided adequate verification in writing that the transfer of ERCs has been approved by both the Antelope Valley and San Joaquin Valley air districts. Additionally, the Energy Commission staff believes the Antelope Valley district needs to conduct a rule making to allow road paving to be used to offset particulate matter emissions from the project.

Staff analyzed alternative transmission line routes to determine if a more direct and shorter route was feasible. Staff has concluded that a partially underground and above-ground alternative should be certified in addition to the applicant's proposed route to provide two options for the applicant to consider.

The project consists of natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating equipment integrated with solar thermal generating equipment. During daylight hours when the parabolic solar thermal collectors are in use, the solar field will contribute up to 50 MW of generation from the steam turbine generator. The solar field will provide heat directly to the heat recovery steam generators to produce steam, reducing the natural gas used at the facility.

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

The FSA is not a decision or proposed decision on the project. 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. The FSA provides the detailed environmental impact assessment required by CEQA.

The document will serve as the Energy Commission's staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings that the committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed plant will hold. Following the hearings, the committee will prepare the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision, and after a 30-day comment period, will recommend to the full Energy Commission about whether or not to approve the proposed project.

The Palmdale project, which is being proposed by the city of Palmdale, would be located on a 377-acre industrial site located in the northern portion of the city. The site is part of a 613.4-acre property owned by the city. The property is located immediately north and west of the facilities of the Los Angeles/Palmdale Regional Airport and U.S. Air Force Plant 42.

More information about the project can be found at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/palmdale/



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