Los Esteros Energy Facility - Notice
[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

In the Matter of:                   )      Docket No. 01-AFC-12
Application for Certification       )      APPLICATION COMPLETE
FACILITY (LOS ESTEROS)              )



On August 6, 2001, Calpine Corporation subsidiary c* Power (Applicant), filed an Application for Certification (AFC) with the Energy Commission to construct and operate the Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility (Los Esteros). Los Esteros, the Phase I component of the planned U.S. Dataport Facility, is a proposed 180 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired, simple-cycle power plant to be located in north San Jose, Santa Clara County. The facility is projected to be online by the summer of 2002.

The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to license new power plants that generate 50 MW or more; the Commission is reviewing the Los Esteros proposal under an expedited four-month process. [See Executive Orders D-26-01 and D-28-01; Pub. Resources Code § 25552, as amended by Senate Bill 28 (Chap. 12, Stats. 2001).]

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Energy Commission has designated a Committee of two Commissioners to conduct proceedings on the AFC. The Committee has scheduled a public Informational Hearing and Site Visit to discuss the proposed project with the San Jose community as described below:

Informational Hearing will begin at 4:00 p.m.
Site Visit departure at 4:30 p.m.

Informational Hearing will reconvene (after the Site Visit) beginning at 6:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Alviso Yacht Club
1491 Hope Street
(corner of Katherine and Hope Streets)
Alviso, California 95002
(heelchair Accessible)
(Map attached)

Prior to the Informational Hearing, members of the public and other interested persons are invited to join the Committee on a tour of the proposed site during daylight hours. Bus transportation will leave from the Alviso Yacht Club parking lot at 4:30 p.m. Following the site visit, the buses will return to the Alviso Yacht Club and the Informational Hearing will convene at approximately 6:00 p.m. Persons intending to attend the site visit should make reservations for bus transportation with the Energy Commission's Public Adviser by calling 916-654-4489 or, toll free at 800-822-6228 no later than Tuesday, October 16, 2001.

If you have a disability and need assistance in order to participate, please contact Priscilla Ross in the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 653-6612 at least five days before the event.


On September 25, 2001, the Energy Commission began the expedited review process to consider the Los Esteros AFC. An expedited review will take approximately four months. During the review period, the Energy Commission will determine whether the proposed project complies with applicable laws related to public health and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering requirements. 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

As proposed, Los Esteros is to be constructed in three phases. Phase I will consist of a nominal 180-MW, natural gas-fired, simple-cycle facility that will employ four modern combustion turbines and associated accessory equipment. Phase II will alter Phase 1 so that the facility will operate in combined-cycle mode, which involves the addition of four Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs), and two Steam Turbine Generators (STGs). Combined-cycle operation will increase capacity to 260 MW. Phase III will involve installation of equipment and systems to provide cooling and other services to the planned U.S. Dataport (USD) "Super Hub" Server Farm. The current proposal addresses Phase I only.

As proposed, Los Esteros will occupy 15 acres of a 55-acre parcel of agricultural land in north San Jose, in Santa Clara County. The site lies on the north side of State Route 237 near the community of Alviso; the City of Milpitas is located approximately three miles north-east of the site; the City of Sunnyvale is located approximately six miles to the southwest. Coyote Creek and its adjacent flood control channel lies to the east; north-west of the site is the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP); PG&E's planned Los Esteros Substation, as approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, will be located along the northwestern edge of the site. The electrical transmission line would run north from the site underground approximately 200 feet into the substation. WPCP's sludge drying ponds are located to the north; WPCP buffer lands are located to the west.

Thus, the site is strategically located near critical infrastructure, reducing the need for long linear facilities (water and natural gas pipelines and electrical transmission lines) and minimizing environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of these facilities. The nearest residences are located approximately 0.6 mile southwest, 0.8 miles east, and 1.4 miles southeast of the center of the project site. Los Esteros is proposed as mitigation (for a less environmentally friendly project) originally proposed for the U. S. Dataport Planned Development Zoning Project (PDZ), which was approved by the City of San Jose at a City Council Meeting on April 3, 2001. The City Council approved annexation of the site to the City of San Jose from the County of Santa Clara on June 19, 2001. The San Jose General Plan designates the site as Light Industrial and the property is zoned as a Planned Development (PD). A rezoning application will be submitted to modify the specified zoning to be consistent with the AFC.

Water supply for the project will be provided by the WPCP through the South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR) program that will require a 1000-foot pipeline. No potable water pipelines are planned as part of the project. Instead, potable water for the operation of the facility will be trucked to the project.

The engineering and environmental details of the proposed project are contained in the AFC. A copy of the AFC is available at the San Jose Public Library, 300 South Sunrise Way, San Jose, California. Copies have also been provided to the local public agencies that are involved in the review process.

Los Esteros is proposed as a merchant plant, which will sell electricity in California's deregulated energy market. For example, on June 28, 2001, the State of California announced that it will purchase 180 MW of electricity from Los Esteros for the period of May 2002-April 2005. The contract between the state and Calpine allows for an increase in power sales from 180 MW to 225 MW after one year. A redacted copy of the agreement is also contained in the AFC.

Purpose of the Informational Hearing

The power plant certification process, which contains requirements equivalent to those under the California Environmental Quality Act, will examine all relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. The review process provides a public forum allowing the Applicant, Energy Commission staff, interested parties, 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 interested members of the public and governmental agencies will have an opportunity to obtain Information and to offer comments on the proposal. Applicant will explain plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative licensing process and Staff's role in reviewing the application. 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 file proposed schedules for the project's review, and Staff shall file an Issue Identification Report (IIR) summarizing the potential major issues. The proposed schedules and Staff's IIR shall be filed no later than October 17, 2001. Copies of these documents will be available on the Commission's Internet Web page at: www.energy.ca.gov.

Public Adviser and Public Participation

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


Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to Robert Worl, the Commission's Project Manager, at (916) 651-8853 or e-mail at: rworl@energy.state.ca.us.

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Major Williams, Jr., the Hearing Officer, at (916) 651-2020 or e-mail at: mwilliam@energy.state.ca.us.

If you require special accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Priscilla Ross at (916) 653-6631 or e-mail at: pross@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 e-mail at: energia@energy.ca.gov.

Informational 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/losesteros/index.html

Dated October 9, 2001 at Sacramento, California.



Chairman and Presiding Member
Los Esteros AFC Committee

Commissioner and Associate Member
Los Esteros AFC Committee

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