For Immediate Release: August 9, 2012
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Begins Review for Huntington Beach Energy Project

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission has started the review of a proposed 939-megawatt (MW) natural gas power project in Orange County.

At its monthly business meeting today, the Energy Commission voted to accept the application for certification for the Huntington Beach Energy Project as data adequate.

Data adequacy means the Energy Commission received enough information from the applicant to begin the discovery and analysis phases of the certification process. The applicant for the project is AES Southland Development, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of AES Corporation.

The Energy Commission named Commissioner Andrew McAllister as the presiding member of the committee reviewing the project and Commissioner Karen Douglas as the associate committee member. The committee will ensure that the project meets the Energy Commission's siting requirements, as well as those of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Energy Commission licenses thermal electric power plants in California that are 50 megawatts and greater.

As lead agency under CEQA, the Energy Commission, through its facility certification process, examines public health and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering aspects of proposed power plants and all related facilities, such as electric transmission lines and natural gas and water pipelines.

The proposed natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility would be located north of the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway and Newland Street in Huntington Beach. The project would be constructed on a 28.6-acre site located within the existing footprint of the existing Huntington Beach Generating Station.

The new facility would consist of two independently operating, combined-cycle gas turbine power blocks that would replace the existing Huntington Beach facility. The proposed project would use dry cooling, eliminating the use of ocean water for cooling and helping to protect the marine ecosystem.

If the Energy Commission approves the Huntington Beach Energy Project by the first quarter of 2014, construction would begin the first quarter of 2015. Construction of Block 1 would last from the first quarter of 2015 through the second quarter of 2018. Work on Block 2 would run from the first quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2020, according to the applicant.

The applicant indicated that Units 1,2, and 5 of the existing Huntington Beach Generating Station would be demolished for the new project. Unit 5 would be removed between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the end of 2015 to provide the space for the construction of Block 1. Units 1 and 2 would be demolished from the fourth quarter of 2020 through the third quarter of 2022.

The estimated capital cost for the Huntington Beach Energy Project would be from $500 to $550 million. The project would average 192 workers during the construction and demolition period, with a peak of about 230 workers for Block 1 and 240 workers for Block 2. There would be 33 employees when the project is operational, according to the applicant.

More information on the Huntington Beach Energy Project can be found at:

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The 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.