Notice of Informational Hearing and Site Visit Kings River Project
[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Before the Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission



APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION )  
FOR A SMALL POWER PLANT EXEMPTION )  
KINGS RIVER CONSERVATION DISTRICT ) DOCKET NO. 03-SPPE-02
PEAKING PLANT (KINGS RIVER) )  
__________________________________ )  

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL HEARING AND SITE VISIT

The California Energy Commission, a state agency, has exclusive jurisdiction to license new power plants that generate 50 megawatts (MW) or more. On November 26, 2003, the Kings River Conservation District (Kings River or Applicant) filed an application for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE) seeking an exemption from the Energy Commission's licensing requirements. Kings River proposes to construct and operate a 97 MW power plant in Fresno County near the community of Malaga. Under state law, power plants under 100 MW may be exempted from the Energy Commission's licensing process if the Energy Commission determines a project proposal is eligible for such an exemption. The SPPE review process provides the public forum for the Energy Commission's evaluation of the project's eligibility for an exemption.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Energy Commission has designated a Committee of two Commissioners to conduct proceedings on the Kings River SPPE. The Committee has scheduled a public informational hearing and site visit to discuss the proposed project as described below:

Monday, January 26, 2004
Site Visit begins at 12:45 p.m.
Public Informational Hearing begins at 2:00 p.m.

Kings River Conservation District Headquarters
Board Room
4886 E. Jensen Avenue
Fresno, California 93725
[Wheelchair Accessible]

Prior to the informational hearing, members of the public are invited to join the Committee on a tour of the proposed site. The Applicant will provide bus transportation from the meeting site to the project site. Bus departure time will be 12:45 p.m. For bus reservations, please contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228 or email at: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

Following the site visit, we will return to the meeting site to convene the informational hearing at 2:00 p.m.

Background

The Energy Commission's Kings River SPPE review process will take approximately four months. For Kings River to qualify for an exemption from the certification process, the Energy Commission must find that no substantial adverse impact on the environment or energy resources will result from construction or operation of the proposed facility. If an exemption is granted, Applicant would need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits for the project from various local, state, and federal agencies.

The informational hearing scheduled by this Notice is sponsored by the Energy Commission to inform the public about the project and to invite public participation in the review process.

Project Description

The proposed project would be situated on a 19-acre industrial site south of Fresno at 2611 E. North Avenue near the community of Malaga, located in San Joaquin County. The facility would occupy approximately 9.5 acres near the southern boundary of the site and the northern 9.5 acres would be a staging area for construction. Applicant currently has an option to purchase the approximately 19 acres of land for the proposed project.

The proposed 97 MW natural gas-fired simple cycle plant would consist of two General Electric LM 6000 SPRINT PC model combustion turbines. The electrical transmission interconnection would link Kings River to the power grid at the Malaga Substation via a new, three-quarter mile, single-circuit 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line. The proposed project would also require a new 700-foot natural gas supply line to connect to PG&E's existing pipeline that parallels North Avenue.

Water for power plant use and domestic needs will be supplied from the Malaga County Water District (MCWD) system, which has an existing supply line located along Chestnut Avenue. Water will be demineralized using either a permanent or temporary (leased) water treatment system on site, and used for NOx control, Sprint power augmentation, and air chiller cooling tower needs. Currently, Applicant is considering two alternative routes for interconnection into the MCWD system. The preferred interconnection would include a linear pipeline running east from the project site a distance of approximately 750 feet to Chestnut Avenue. The secondary alternative would be to interconnect at the intersection of North and Chestnut Avenues. The proposed interconnection for the secondary alternative is approximately 2000 feet and would run north from the project site and along the south side of North Avenue to the intersection of North and Chestnut Avenues.

An access road and right-of-ways for the gas, alternative water, alternative sewer, and electric transmission interconnections would cross the 9.5 acres to the north of the proposed project's site.

The Applicant would own the power plant facility, and the electric transmission lines. MCWD will construct, own, and operate the water interconnection. PG&E will construct, own, and operate both the natural gas pipeline and the electric transmission interconnection.

The details of the proposed project are contained in Kings River's application for the SPPE. Copies of the SPPE are available at the following local public library:

Fresno County Library
Central Headquarters
2420 Mariposa Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Copies of the SPPE were also provided to local public agencies involved in the review process.

Purpose of the Informational Hearing

The SPPE review, which incorporates requirements equivalent to the Initial Study performed by local agencies under the California Environmental Quality Act, will examine relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. The review process provides a public forum allowing the Applicant, Commission staff, governmental agencies, adjacent landowners, and members of the general public to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the project and to discuss changes or alternatives as necessary.

The informational 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 and offer comments on the proposal. The Applicant will explain plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative review process. Applicant and Staff will also discuss the schedule and possible issues that may be significant during this proceeding.

Proposed Schedules and Issue Identification Report

To assist participants in understanding the project, Applicant and Staff shall each file a proposed schedule for the SPPE review timeline and Staff shall file an Issue Identification Report ("report") summarizing the potential major issues. The proposed schedules and Staff's report shall be filed and served no later than noon on Wednesday, January 19, 2004. These documents shall also be sent via email to the parties and to the Hearing Officer at [mwilliam@energy.state.ca.us]. At the informational hearing, the parties shall indicate whether anticipated data responses would resolve issues of concern raised in Staff's report. Copies of these documents will be available on the Commission's Internet web page at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/kingsriver.

Public Adviser and Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser is available to assist the public in participating in the SPPE review process. Members of the public may participate in all aspects of the administrative process in a variety of ways. If you need information concerning public participation, please contact the Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228 or e-mail: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

Information

Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to Jack Caswell, the Staff Project Manager, at (916) 653-0062 or email at: [jcaswell@energy.state.ca.us].

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Major Williams, Jr., the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-3893 or email at [mwilliam@energy.state.ca.us].

If you require special accommodation to participate in this event, contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 or email 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 at: [mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us].

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, will be posted on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/kingsriver.


Dated January 9, 2004, at Sacramento, California.




JAMES D. BOYD
Commissioner and Presiding Member
KINGS RIVER SPPE Committee



WILLIAM J. KEESE
Chairman and Associate Member
KINGS RIVER SPPE Committee




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