STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission



In the Matter of:                  )  Docket No. 97-AFC-1 
                                   )
Application for Certification      )  THIRD REVISED SCHEDULING  
for the High Desert Power Project  )  ORDER
___________________________________)


I. BACKGROUND


The parties discussed scheduling considerations at the July 1, 1998 Committee Conference. They also filed status reports on July 8, 1998 which, in part, also addressed these matters.

The Committee has evaluated both the oral and written comments of the parties in formulating this Order.


II. SUMMARY OF EVENTS


This Order supersedes the Second Revised Scheduling Order dated June 1, 1998. The events referred to are as reflected in that Order. Since June 1, many of the scheduled events have occurred (i.e. events #8, 9, 9A, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 23), while intervening circumstances have rendered several events moot (i.e. #13, 20, 20A). In addition, some events have been delayed (i.e. #10, 15, 21, 24, 25), while others are as yet incomplete (i.e. #14, 16). These factors directly affect the remaining scheduled events (i.e. #22, 22A, 26), most notably issuance of a complete Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA; event #27).

The complexity of this combination of factors necessitates revisiting our expectations for the availability of data and information still required for project analysis. The pertinent events are discussed below.

A. Delayed Events

B. Incomplete Events

III. DISCUSSION

The events which have been delayed or are incomplete, as summarized above, have created scheduling impacts which affect currently prospective events including the filing of data requests regarding the second natural gas pipeline (event #22A -- July 6, 1998), Staff's notification of whether the information for the federal 10(a)(1)(B) permit and the "Section 7" consultation is complete (event #26 -- July 22, 1998), and the release of the complete and revised PSA (event #27 -- July 31, 1998). In addition, recent indications from Staff (Status Report Number 6, pages 8-9) and Applicant (letter dated July 9, 1998) raise doubts in our minds whether Applicant will be able to meet the existing performance date of August 3, 1998 (event #22) by which it is to file written documentation from the water suppliers for the project that the water plan is acceptable and also identify preliminary conditions for approval of the water supply arrangements.

In its July 8 status report, the California Unions for Reliable Energy (CURE) suggested that the Committee postpone establishing a due date for the revised PSA until sometime after September 4, 1998, when additional updates and status reports should be required. Staff, on the other hand, recommended in its status report (page 11) that we adopt a PSA due date of September 24, 1998, provided that all information for the second natural gas pipeline, project water supply, and complete letters of intent for project ERCs are submitted by August 6, 1998.

We have taken all these considerations, as well as those pertaining to the delayed events summarized above, into account in imposing the following schedule. We note that the effect of the delays which have thus far occurred will be likely to further postpone the ultimate decision date. Additional delays can only exacerbate this situation. In order to minimize this, we direct Staff to conduct public workshops in conjunction with the events set forth below in order to facilitate and expedite the clarification and exchange of necessary analytic information.

As in the Second Revised Scheduling Order, we note that firm commitments (e.g., options, contracts, etc.) regarding Emission Reduction Credits and a water supply for the project are presently a subject of concern. We have not established specific dates for the submission of these items or for the balance of the proceeding at this time due to the potential scheduling impacts associated with the events preceding release of the revised PSA. After the PSA is issued, we will reassess the balance of the schedule in light of the project's progress, the sufficiency of necessary data, and Applicant's success in meeting the performance dates.

The events designated in the schedule do not appear in strict chronological order. Performance dates are so indicated.



Staff is directed to hold such public workshops as are necessary to clarify, facilitate, and expedite the development and submission of data necessary to meet the schedule above. Conferences may be held on the Committee's own motion or at the request of any party.

Dated: July 20,1998



ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION



_____//signed//____
JANANNE SHARPLESS, Commissioner
Presiding Member



_____//signed//____
ROBERT A. LAURIE, Commissioner
Associate Member