Niland Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

06-SPPE-01 (Application For Certification)
06-SPPE-1C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: May 29, 2008

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on October 11, 2006. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

James D. Boyd, Vice Chair, Presiding Member

Jeffrey Byron, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Garret Shean

Key Dates

  • 3/13/2006 - Project SPPE filed with Energy Commission.
  • 6/23/2006 - Commission staff issues its Draft Initial Study
  • 8/31/2006 - Commission staff issues its Final Initial Study
  • 9/20/2006 - Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is released.
  • 10/11/2006 - Energy Commission votes to approve the small power plant exemption for project.
  • 5/29/2008 - Power plant on line and producing power.


On March 13, 2006, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) filed an application for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE). The IID is seeking an exemption from the California Energy Commission's licensing requirements. If an exemption is granted, the applicant would need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits for the project from various local, state and federal agencies.

The IID proposes to build and operate a nominal 93 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle power plant on a 22-acre site northeast of Niland, California. This proposed facility is referred to as the Niland Gas Turbine Plant (NGTP). The IID would own and operate the facility. The proposed site is owned by the IID and is adjacent to the IID's existing Niland Substation. The project would supply the internal power generation needs of the IID service territory during periods of peak electrical demand.

The plant would consist of two General Electric LM6000 PD SPRINT NxGen combustion turbine generators (CTG) equipped with inlet air chiller coils, zero liquid discharge (ZLD) wastewater treatment system, water storage and treatment systems, gas compressor equipment, and electrical transmission and interconnection system and associated auxiliary systems and equipment.

The project will interconnect directly to the 92-kilovolt (kV) bus at the adjacent Niland Substation. A new intermediate generation switchyard will be constructed to gather the output from the project and provide a common point of interconnection to the Niland Substation.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

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