For Immediate Release: February 22, 2012
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Preliminary Staff Assessment Released for Pio Pico Energy Center

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission staff today released its analysis of the proposed Pio Pico Energy Center project.

In the preliminary staff assessment (PSA), staff concluded that with the implementation of staff's recommended mitigation measures described in the conditions of certification, the proposed 300-megawatt peaker power plant would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards except in the area of biological resources. Staff does not have enough information to determine if the applicant's proposed mitigation measures will reduce the impacts to biological resources to less than a significant level, according to the PSA.

The PSA is available at:

The PSA serves as the staff's initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, public health and safety impacts of the proposed facility. The PSA is not a decision nor does it contain final findings of the Commission related to the environmental impacts or the project's compliance with local, state and federal legal requirements.

After a public comment period on the PSA, staff will release a final staff assessment (FSA). The FSA will serve as staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings that the committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed project will hold. The committee will issue a proposed decision based on evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Commission for a final decision.

Pio Pico Energy Center, LLC, is the applicant for the project, which is a natural gas-fired, simple-cycle electrical generating facility. The proposed project site is located at the intersection of Alta Road and Calzada de la Fuente in an unincorporated area of southwestern San Diego County. The 10-acre site is next to the Otay Mesa Generating Project.

The capital cost for the Pio Pico Energy Center project is estimated to be $300 million. If the project is approved, construction would last 16 months with the work starting February 2013 and commercial operation by May 2014. The project would require an average of 148 workers during construction, with a peak of 284 needed during the eighth month. Twelve employees would be needed when the project is operating, according to the applicant.

More information on the Pio Pico Energy Center is available at:

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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.