Avenal Energy Power Plant
08-AFC-01 (Application For Certification)
08-AFC-1C (Compliance Proceeding)
Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase
The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on December 16, 2009. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.
Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:
Jeffrey D. Byron, Commissioner, Presiding Member
Karen Douglas, Chairman, Associate Member
Hearing Officer: Gary Fay
- 2/21/2008 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed with California Energy Commission
- 4/16/2008 - Commission accepts Application for Certification (AFC) as complete and "data adequate."
- 2/2/2009 - Commission staff releases Preliminary Staff Analysis.
- 6/2/209 - Commission staff releases Final Staff Analysis.
- 11/10/09 - Committee releases Presiding Member's Proposed Decision.
- 12/16/09 - Commission approves Application For Certification.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
On February 21, 2008, Avenal Power Center, LLC (Avenal Power) filed an Application for Certification (AFC) for the Avenal Energy project (Avenal Energy). Avenal Power is seeking Energy Commission approval to construct and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) power plant in the City of Avenal in Kings County under the Energy Commission's standard 12-month power plant licensing process. Avenal Power plans to begin construction in April of 2010, with commercial operation beginning June 1, 2012. The project would be built on 25 acres of a 148-acre site that is just south of the Fresno County line, and about two miles east of Interstate 5. Although the proposed project is within City of Avenal town limits in an area zoned for industrial use, it is located approximately 6 miles from the city's residential and commercial districts. Current land use at the project site is irrigated agriculture, as is the surrounding land use.
The proposed Avenal Energy would be a combined cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine. Natural gas would be provided via a 2.5-mile, 20-inch underground pipeline interconnection to PG&E's natural gas pipeline transmission system at the Kettleman compressor station. The plant would use a dry cooling process to minimize water consumption. The City of Avenal would provide water to the proposed project from the city's water treatment plant adjacent to the site. Groundwater from three local wells would provide a back-up water source to the project via two separate pipelines, totaling less than 1.4-miles. The proposed project would recycle water to the maximum extent possible through the use of a zero liquid discharge system to further minimize water consumption and eliminate waste water discharge. The proposed project would be connected to the PG&E transmission grid via a 6.4-mile single-circuit 230 kV transmission line, traversing agricultural land to the Gates substation in Fresno County.
Energy Commission Facility Certification Process
The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.
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