For Immediate Release: March 11, 2014
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Part B of Preliminary Staff Assessment for
Huntington Beach Power Plant Released

California Energy Commission staff has released the second part of the initial environmental and engineering analysis of the proposed Huntington Beach Energy Project in Orange County.

Part B of the preliminary staff assessment (PSA) released March 7, 2014 includes analyses in the technical areas of air quality, public health and alternatives. The alternatives section includes analyses of options that could reduce environmental and public health impacts from the project, including new information on the potential use of recycled water for power plant use.

Information for Part B was provided by the applicant, government agencies, interested parties, independent research, and other sources available at the time the PSA was prepared.

Based upon the information provided, discovery achieved and analyses completed to date, staff concluded that the project complies with all laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS) with possible exceptions in the areas of land use and visual resources.

In addition, Energy Commission staff remains concerned with mitigating impacts from construction-based particulate matter pollution because construction of the new facility would take place for 90 months and overlap with existing plant operation.

The PSA serves as staff's initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, public health and safety impacts of the proposed facility. The PSA is not a decision and does not contain final findings of the Commission related to the environmental impacts or the project's compliance with local, state and federal legal requirements.

After holding a public workshop in Huntington Beach and receiving public comments on the PSA, Commission staff will publish a final staff assessment (FSA). The FSA will serve as Commission staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings held by a committee of two commissioners who are reviewing the project. The committee will issue a proposed decision based on evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision will later be presented to the full Commission for a final decision.

The Huntington Beach Energy Project is proposed by AES Southland Development, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of AES Corporation. The planned 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 the 28.6-acre site of the existing Huntington Beach Generating Station that would be demolished and removed.

The new 939-megawatt (MW) plant would consist of two independently operating, combined-cycle gas turbine power blocks that would replace the existing Huntington Beach facility. It would use dry-cooling to reduce water use and comply with the State Water Resources Control Board’s policy eliminating the use of ocean water for power plant cooling.

If the Commission approves the project, which is estimated to cost between $500 million and $550 million, demolition and construction activities are scheduled between the first quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2022. The project would average 192 workers during the construction and demolition period, with a peak of 236. There are expected to be 33 employees when the project is operational, according to the applicant.

The PSA can be found 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. For more information, visit or