Otay Mesa Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

99-AFC-05 (Application For Certification)
99-AFC-5C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: October 3, 2009

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on April 18, 2001. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

John L. Geesman, Commissioner, Presiding Member

James D. Boyd, Chairman, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Susan Gefter

Key Dates

  • October 14, 1998 -- Hearing on Petition for Jurisdictional Determination.
  • August 2, 1999 -- Applicant files Application For Certification (AFC).
  • May 10, 2000 -- Preliminary Staff Assessment issued.
  • October 13, 2000 -- Final Staff Assessment Part 1 issued. Part 2 issued 10/27/00.
  • March 12, 2001 -- Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released.
  • April 18, 2001 -- Energy Commission approves Otay Mesa AFC.
  • October 3, 2001 -- Energy Commission approves Petition for the Transfer of Ownership for the Otay Mesa Generating Company LLC, from PG&E Generating to Calpine Corporation.
  • October 3, 2009 - Power plant on line and producing power.


The Otay Mesa Generating Project (OMGP) will be a 510 megawatt (MW), natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant located in the Otay Mesa area in western San Diego County. The 15-acre site is about 15 miles southeast of San Diego, California, and about 1.5 miles north of the United States/Mexico border.

A new 230 kilovolt (kV) switchyard at the site is proposed. Otay Mesa plans to build a 0.1-mile connection to San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) existing 230 kV Miguel -Tijuana transmission line that passes near the eastern boundary of the Otay Mesa site. A 9-mile section of this existing line may be modified to accommodate the addition of new conductors (i.e., wires carrying electricity) on existing towers, between an interconnection point east of the plant site and SDG&E's Miguel substation. A new two-mile natural gas pipeline will be built by SDG&E to provide fuel for the project. The gas pipeline will connect to SDG&E's Pipeline 2000 which is currently under construction.

The project will use dry cooling technology, while process water for steam generation and potable water for domestic needs will be supplied by the Otay Water District via a 0.2 -mile pipeline connection. Wastewater from the plant will be transported to San Diego County's sewer system from the plant, via a new 2-mile pipeline that will connect to an existing line in Johnson Canyon. The proposed route for access to the Otay Mesa site will be from Otay Mesa Road, turning north on Alta Road. The proposed site is approximately 700 feet east of Alta Road. Otay Mesa, LLC will be building a short access road from Alta Road to the site.

Otay Mesa plans to complete construction and start operation of the OMGP by the summer of 2002. During construction, an average of approximately 400 workers would be employed. During operation, the OMGP would employ approximately 20 full-time staff.

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.

For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

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
E-mail: PublicAdviser@energy.ca.gov

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989
E-mail: mediaoffice@energy.ca.gov