[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


PDF IconInformation Request Form

On June 17, 2003, the California Energy Commission received a petition from Calpine Corporation for its Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility (LECEF) Project requesting approval for a previously completed modification. On September 5, 2003 Calpine provided Energy Commission staff with additional information in order to complete the petition. Specifically, Calpine replaced the original 2000-foot temporary transmission interconnection tap line with a new 150-foot temporary interconnection tap line.

LECEF is a 180 MW natural gas-fired, simple cycle power plant, located on 15 acres in north San Jose at 1515 Alviso-Milpitas Road within Santa Clara County. It became operational in March 2003.


The Energy Commission's Decision for LECEF specified a 2000-foot temporary transmission tap line interconnection with the nearby Nortech-Trimble 115 kV transmission line, to be replaced by a permanent underground interconnection directly with the adjacent PG&E Los Esteros Substation once the new substation was completed.

When the PG&E Los Esteros Substation was energized, Calpine did not install the permanent underground interconnection. Instead, Calpine replaced the original 2000-foot temporary transmission tap line with a new 150-foot temporary transmission tap line at a different location. The new temporary tap line connects with the Nortech-PG&E Los Esteros Substation 115 kV transmission line that runs adjacent to the power plant. Calpine indicates it will install the specified permanent interconnection with the adjacent Los Esteros Substation when the second phase of the LECEF project (conversion to a combined cycle facility), is completed. Alternatively, Calpine states in its September 5, 2003 filing that it may request to connect to a new Silicon Valley Power Substation to be constructed adjacent to LECEF, rather than to the PG&E Los Esteros Substation.

Staff initially learned of Calpine's modification in May of 2003 when the modification was nearly completed: staff informed Calpine that the modification was not in conformance with the Commission's Decision, and staff directed Calpine to file a petition to request formal modification of the project. Staff did not prevent Calpine from completing the installation for the following reasons:

  • Staff conducted a preliminary analysis and determined that there were no environmental or health and safety impacts associated with replacing the original 2000-foot interconnection with the new 150-foot interconnection;

  • PG&E had already analyzed and approved the new temporary interconnection tap line;

  • PG&E had almost completed the new temporary interconnection tap line and it was scheduled to be energized within days;

  • Cal-ISO indicated that electricity generated by LECEF was needed for the power grid in a continuous manner to avoid potential power shortages; and

  • Staff informed Calpine that continued longer-term use of the new temporary interconnection tap line was contingent upon Commission approval of its petition to modify the project.


Concurrent with the petition to modify the project, staff is conducting an investigation concerning the installation of the new temporary transmission tap line that was implemented without prior Commission approval. Prior to the Commission's consideration of the petition, staff will recommend what action, if any, should be taken against Calpine.

Staff is reviewing the June 17, 2003, petition and the additional information provided on September 5, 2003. In addition, staff assessed the modifications' impacts on environmental quality, public health and safety, and the electrical transmission grid. The only technical area that appears to be affected by this modification is Transmission System Engineering (TSE).
Staff will publish its analysis of the petition in approximately two weeks for public review.

A public hearing for the purpose of approving or denying the amendment proposal will subsequently be held at a regularly scheduled Energy Commission business meeting.
This Notice of Receipt is being mailed to interested parties and property owners adjacent to the project site who may want to participate in the amendment process.

  • If you have questions or wish to make comments regarding this project modification, would like to receive a copy of the petition and supplemental filing, and/or if you would like to be informed of Staff's recommendation concerning any potential action, please contact Lance Shaw, compliance project manager at the address above, or call (916) 653-1227, or e-mail him at lshaw@energy.state.ca.us within 14 days of the date of this notice.

  • You may also complete the enclosed Information Request Form and return it to the address shown.

  • A copy of the petition and part of the supplemental filing are on the Commission's website (Exhibits A through J of the supplemental filing are not available electronically): www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/losesteros/compliance/index.html

For further information on how to participate in this proceeding, please contact Ms. Margret Kim, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 654-4489, or toll free in California at (800) 822-6228. If you require special needs such as larger print materials please contact Lourdes Quiroz at (916) 654-5146. News media inquiries should be directed to Assistant Director, Claudia Chandler, at (916) 654-4989.

Date online: November 18, 2003. ____________/Signed/_______________
TERRENCE O'BRIEN, Deputy Director
Systems Assessment & Facilities Siting

| Back to Main Page | Homepage | Calendar | Directory/Index | Search | Contact Us |

Mail Lists: # 7100, 7101, 7102, & POS