Carlsbad Energy Center Power Project

Docket Number:

07-AFC-06 (Application For Certification)
07-AFC-06C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on May 31, 2012. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee overseeing Amendment Proceeding:

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Andrew McAllister, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Paul Kramer

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

(To be assigned), Commissioner, Presiding Member

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Paul Kramer

Key Dates


Carlsbad Energy Center LLC proposes to develop a natural gas-fired generating facility in the City of Carlsbad in San Diego County, California. The proposed Carlsbad project will be a fast-start high-efficiency, combined-cycle facility that will support San Diego Gas & Electric's local load and provide overall system reliability.

Carlsbad Energy Center LLC (the Applicant), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc., is proposing to develop the Carlsbad Project to meet the electrical resource needs as defined by San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). This includes contributing to electricity reserves that will ensure a reliable energy supply and local and regional electrical transmission grid support in San Diego County and the southern California region.

Carlsbad Project will be a 558 MW gross combined-cycle generating facility configured using two units with one natural-gas-fired combustion turbine and one steam turbine per or unit.

The approximately 23-acre Carlsbad Project site is located in the city of Carlsbad, in San Diego County in an area zoned Public Utility, which specifically allows electrical generation and transmission facilities.

As part of the Carlsbad Project, existing steam boiler Units 1, 2, and 3 at the Encina Power Station will be retired. The retirements will occur upon the successful commercial operations of the new Carlsbad Project generating units. The retirements will create substantial environmental benefits, including permanent air emission reductions from the boiler units; elimination of the 225 million gallons per day of cooling water (seawater) intake capacity for Units 1-3 and the resulting decrease in impingement and entrainment of marine organisms attributed to those unit's cooling water flow; cessation of discharge of wastewaters to the Pacific Ocean from Units 1-3; and elimination of the use of potable water attributed to the existing operation of Units 1-3.

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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