For Immediate Release: November 8, 2013
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


Upcoming Hydrogen Energy California Project Workshops and
Committee Conference Scheduled for November

What: The California Energy Commission staff will hold workshops for the proposed Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project and the Commission committee reviewing the project has scheduled a committee conference.

When: : First workshop starts at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Second workshop starts at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2013, and will be followed by a committee conference at 3 p.m. and public comments at 5 p.m.

Where: The first workshop on November 13 will be at the California Energy Commission, Third Floor Conference Room, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
The second workshop and conference on November 20 will be at the Buttonwillow Recreation and Park District Multi-Purpose Facility, 556 Milo Avenue, Buttonwillow, CA 93206

Those unable to attend the meetings can participate by telephone and/or by computer by visiting the following sites:

November 13 workshop:

November 20 workshop:

November 20 committee conference:

Why: The November 13 workshop will enable Commission staff, the applicant, intervenors, interested parties, agencies, and the public to discuss the proposed carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions issues identified in the project's preliminary staff assessment/draft environmental impact statement (PSA/DEIS).

Commission staff and the applicant disagree about how the project should be evaluated for compliance with Senate Bill 1368. The law limits long-term investments in baseload generation by the state's utilities to power plants that meet an emissions performance standard jointly established by the Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. The workshop is an effort to determine if staff and the applicant can resolve their differences.

The Commission staff workshop on November 20 is being held to solicit comments from individuals and organizations on the PSA/DEIS for HECA, identify and resolve areas of disagreement, and discuss additional informational requirements for the final staff assessment/final environmental impact statement (FSA/FEIS).

During the conference, the committee of two commissioners reviewing HECA will discuss the status of the project review and listen to public comment.

The PSA/DEIS released on June 28 was the initial evaluation from Commission staff and the U.S. Energy Department of the project's environmental, engineering, public health and safety impacts. The evaluation is not a decision by the Commission or the Energy Department nor does it contain findings of the Commission related to the environmental impacts or the project's compliance with local, state and federal legal requirements.

Information from the workshops will be used to prepare the FSA/FEIS. The Energy Department will use the FSA/FEIS to decide if the project will be awarded funding. The FSA/FEIS will serve as Commission staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings conducted by the committee reviewing the project. The committee will issue a proposed decision based on evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision later will be presented to the full Commission for final action.

Background and Next Steps: The project proposed by SCS Energy, LLC is located about seven miles west of Bakersfield near the town of Tupman in western Kern County. It would be located on 1,106 acres of private land currently used for agricultural uses. The facility would be built on 453 acres with the remaining 653 acres used as a controlled buffer area.

The facility will use an integrated gasification, combined cycle system to produce and sell electricity, carbon dioxide, and fertilizer. It would gasify coal and petroleum coke to produce synthesis gas (syngas). The hydrogen-rich syngas fuel would be used to generate between 405 to 431 megawatts gross of electricity. The project would also produce and sell urea fertilizer and other nitrogenous compounds. It would capture about 90 percent of the carbon dioxide produced from the gasification process and transport it by pipeline for use at the adjacent Elk Hills Oil Field for enhanced oil recovery that would result in sequestration. Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. owns and operates the field.

Construction is projected to start in 2014 with commercial operation expected in 2018. The proposed schedule is dependent on required approvals from the Commission and the Energy Department. The capital cost is estimated at $4 billion. The project would require an average construction workforce of 1,160 workers, with a peak of 2,461. An average of 200 full-time operational employees would be needed, according to the applicant.

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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. For more information, visit: or

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