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BEFORE THE ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND
DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA


  PETITION TO MODIFY THE APPLICATION FOR    )   
  CERTIFICATION OF THE BLYTHE ENERGY POWER  )	
  PLANT PROJECT                             )   Docket No. 99-AFC-8C
                                            )    
____________________________________________)   



NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL HEARING AND SITE VISIT

and
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT and WESTERN AREA POWER
ADMINISTRATION SCOPING HEARING

I. INFORMATIONAL/SCOPING HEARING AND SITE VISIT

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Committee designated to conduct proceedings on the Petition to Modify the Blythe Energy Power Plant Project will hold an INFORMATIONAL/SCOPING HEARING and SITE VISIT as follows:

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2004
Site Visit begins at 11:30 a.m.
Public Hearing begins at 1:00 p.m.
and ends no later than 5:00 p.m.
Blythe City Hall - Administration
Council Chambers
235 N. Broadway
Blythe, California 92225
[Wheelchair Accessible]

On October 12, 2004, Blythe Energy, LLC, submitted a petition to modify the existing Blythe Energy Power Plant project (BEP). The modification, described below, consists of the addition of two transmission lines and a substation.

Purpose of the Hearing

The Informational/Scoping Hearing is the first in a series of Energy Commission events where members of the community and governmental agencies will have an opportunity to obtain information about, and offer comments upon, the proposed project modifications. At this Hearing, Applicant will describe and explain plans for constructing the proposed transmission lines. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative amendment process and its role in reviewing the project. Applicant and Energy Commission Staff will also present proposed schedules and discuss possible issues that may be significant during this proceeding.

The Energy Commission, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) will jointly prepare an Environmental Assessment for the project to conform with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The staffs of the federal BLM and WAPA will also explain the roles of their respective agencies. The project and the respective roles of the reviewing agencies are summarized in Attachment A to this Notice.

Prior to the Informational/Scoping Hearing, members of the public are invited to join the Committee on a tour of a portion of the transmission line route and the new substation. Bus transportation will leave from the hearing location at approximately 11:30 a.m. Reservations for bus transportation must be made through the Public Adviser's Office; please call (916) 654-4489 or toll-free (800) 822-6228. Reservations should be made no later than Thursday, November 4, 2004. Following the Site Visit, the buses will return to the hearing location and the Hearing will convene at approximately 1:00 p.m.

Approval of this modification to the BEP decision is under the Energy Commission's jurisdiction. The review process will examine all relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. This process provides a public forum allowing the Applicant, Energy Commission staff, BLM, WAPA, other interested parties, governmental agencies, landowners, and members of the general public to consider the relative advantages and disadvantages of the project, and to propose changes or alternatives to the project as necessary.

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret Kim, will be present to assist interested individuals or organizations and to provide information on participating in the modification process. Ms. Kim may be reached at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228, or email: [PAO@energy.state.ca.us].

Project Description

The existing BEP project is a 520-megawatt (MW) natural gas fired electronic-generating facility located in the city of Blythe, in Riverside County. The power plant project was certified by the Energy Commission on March 21, 2001, and began commercial operation on December 29, 2003. The present petition to modify the BEP requests approval to construct and operate two new transmission lines and a substation. The transmission line modifications would allow electrical output from the BEP to be delivered to the Southern California electrical transmission system. These modifications would also serve to relieve transmission congestion and provide needed energy supplies in Southern California in the coming years.

There are two distinct components to the proposed transmission line modifications:

1) Buck to Julian Hinds Transmission Line Component:

  • Upgrades to Buck Substation;


  • Installation of approximately 67.4-miles of new 230-kV transmission line between the Buck Substation (located adjacent to the BEP) and the Julian Hinds Substation (located approximately sixty miles to the west);


  • The proposed transmission line route would generally follow Southern California Edison's (SCE's) existing 500 kV Devers-Palo Verde transmission line;


  • Transmission line structures would be concrete, single-pole structures; and


  • Upgrades to the Julian Hinds Substation.

2) Buck to Devers-Palo Verde Transmission Line Component:

  • Upgrades to Buck Substation;


  • Installation of approximately 6.7-miles of a new 230-kV transmission line (initially operated at 161-kV) between the Buck Substation and SCE's existing Devers-Palo Verde 500-kV transmission line;


  • Transmission line structures would be concrete single-pole structures; and


  • Construction of a new 161-kV to 500-kV substation ("Midpoint Substation") at the point of interconnection with SCE's existing Devers-Palo Verde 500-kV transmission line.

Because the path ratings for each of the proposed transmission line components will not be established at the time of the final decision on the petition to modify, Blythe Energy is requesting approval of each transmission component path described above. It may be necessary to ultimately build both components to deliver the facility's full output to customers in California.

The engineering and environmental details of the proposed project are contained in the petition to modify. Copies are available at the Palo Verde Valley District Library, 125 West Chanslor Way, Blythe, CA 92225, the Riverside Main Library, 3581 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501, and the Brawley Public Library, 400 Main Street, Brawley, CA 92227. It also can be viewed on the Energy Commission website at [www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/blythetline/index.html].

II. PROPOSED SCHEDULES AND ISSUE STATEMENTS

To assist participants in understanding the project, Energy Commission staff shall prepare an Issue Identification Report (IIR) which summarizes the potential major issues in this case, and serve it upon those listed on the Proof of Service list no later than 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3, 2004. The IIR shall also contain a proposed schedule and an outline of the contents of a legally sufficient decisional document. Copies of the IIR may be obtained by calling Jack Caswell, the Project Manager, at (916) 653-0062. The IIR will be available on the Energy Commission's Internet home page at [www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/blythetline/index.html].

Applicant shall serve its response to the Staff IIR, including a proposed schedule and decisional outline, no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 5, 2004.

III. INFORMATION

Public Participation

Members of the general public are encouraged to attend and provide public comment. Please contact the Public Adviser as indicated above for further information on how to participate.

Additional Information

For technical questions about the project, contact Jack Caswell, the Energy Commission's Project Manager, at (916) 653-0062 or email: [jcaswell@energy.state.ca.us].

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Ed Boullion at (916) 654-3893, or email: [ebouillo@energy.state.ca.us].

If you have a disability and need assistance to participate in this event, contact Lourdes Quiroz at 916-654-5146 or e-mail at: [lquiroz@energy.state.ca.us].

Media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director for Media and Public Communications, at (916) 654-4989 or email: [mediaoffice@energy.ca.gov].

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, is also available on the Energy Commission's Internet home page at: [www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/blythetline/index.html].



Dated: October 26, 2004

ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

________/signed/________
JOHN L. GEESMAN
Commissioner and Presiding Member
Blythe Energy Project Modification
Committee

________/signed/________
WILLIAM J. KEESE
Chairman and Associate Member
Blythe Energy Project Modification
Committee



Attachment A
(PDF file, 6 pages, 233 kilobytes)




Mailed to lists: POS and 7166, 7167, 7168


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