McLaren Backup Generating Facility

Docket Number:

17-SPPE-01 (Small Power Plant Exemption)

Project Status: In Review

Committee Overseeing This Case:

Karen Douglas, Presiding Member

Janea Scott, Associate Member

Hearing Officer: Ken Celli

Key Dates


On December 26, 2017, Vantage Data Centers filed an application with the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE) for its McLaren Backup Generating Facility (MBGF). Vantage Data Centers proposes to deploy 48 diesel-fueled generators with a total backup generation capacity of up to 98.7 megawatts (MW) to support the need for the McLaren Data Center (MDC) to provide an uninterruptible power supply for its tenant’s servers. The MDC is currently being constructed at 651, 725, and 825 Mathew Street in Santa Clara, California.

The MBGF will consist of 47 diesel-fired backup generators, arranged in three generation yards, each designed to serve one of the three server buildings that make up the MDC. In addition, the MBGF will include one diesel-fired generator capable of generating 500 kilowatts (kW) to support a fire pump. Project elements will also include switchgear and distribution cabling to interconnect the three generation yards to their respective buildings.

Small Power Plant Exemption Evaluation Process

The SPPE process allows projects between 50 and 100 MW to proceed with local approval rather than requiring an Energy Commission license. This exemption from the Energy Commission licensing process can be applied to projects that would not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment or energy resources. The Energy Commission acts as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will prepare an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration that examines public health and safety, along with environmental impacts of the proposed project, including all related facilities such as electric transmission lines, natural gas and water pipelines. If the exemption is granted, the applicant would still need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits from relevant local, state, and federal agencies.

For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

Leonidas (Lon) Payne
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-0966

For Questions About Participation In Siting Cases Contact:

Public Adviser
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989

Original Proceeding



McLaren Backup Generating Facility
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