For Immediate Release: February 15, 2012
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Proposed Decision Recommends License for
Watson Cogeneration Steam and Electric Reliability Project

SACRAMENTO - A California Energy Commission siting committee is recommending the approval of the proposed Watson Cogeneration Steam and Electric Reliability Project in Carson.

In the presiding member's proposed decision (PMPD) released today, the committee said the 85-megawatt (MW) project, as mitigated, will have no significant impacts on the environment and complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.

The project will increase and improve the reliability of the steam supply and electric power at the BP Carson Refinery. It plans to do so by increasing the capacity of the existing 385-MW Watson Cogeneration Facility by 85 MW with the addition of a combustion turbine generator. The applicant, Watson Cogeneration Company, is a joint partnership between subsidiaries of BP America and Edison Mission Energy.

The proposed decision was based solely on evidence developed in evidentiary hearings during the facility's certification proceeding.

The PMPD is not a final decision on the project. The siting committee released the document for 30 days of public comment. The committee will consider input before bringing the proposed decision to the full Energy Commission. The entire document can be found on the Energy Commission's website at:

The PMPD determined that the record, which contains a detailed environmental impact assessment required by the California Environmental Quality Act, was adequate. The record includes the Energy Commission staff's thorough and independent assessment of the project's potential impacts on the environment, public health, and safety.

The project site consists of 2.5 acres within the boundary of the existing Watson Cogeneration Facility, which is located in the city of Carson (Los Angeles County). The 21.7-acre facility supplies steam to and is integral to the adjacent BP Carson Refinery.

Construction is expected to last 26 months. Eighty construction workers would be required during peak construction in the twelfth month. No additional full-time employees will be required when the project is operational.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.