Informational Hearing Notice for the Palomar Energy Project
[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

In the Matter of:                   )      Docket No. 01-AFC-24
                                    )      DATA ADEQUATE
Application for Certification       )      FEBRUARY 6, 2002

The California Energy Commission, a state agency, has exclusive jurisdiction to license new power plants that generate 50 megawatts (MW) or more. On November 28, 2001, Sempra Energy Resources ("Applicant") filed an Application for Certification (AFC) with the Energy Commission to construct and operate the Palomar Energy Project, (PEP) a nominal 500 MW natural gas-fired power plant to be located in the City of Escondido in San Diego County. The Energy Commission is considering the proposal under the twelve-month review process established by Public Resources Code section 25540.6. If approved the plant is expected to be online by the end of 2004.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Energy Commission has designated a Committee of two Commissioners to conduct proceedings on the application. The Committee has scheduled a public informational hearing and site visit to discuss the proposed project with the Escondido community as described below:

Site Visit begins at 4:30 p.m.
Public Informational Hearing begins at 6:00 p.m.

California Center for the Arts
(Adjacent to Escondido City Hall)
340 N. Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, California 92025

Prior to the informational hearing, members of the public are invited to join the Committee on a tour of the proposed site during daylight hours. The Applicant will provide bus transportation from the Center to the site. Bus departure time will be 4:30 p.m. For bus reservations, please contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228 or email at: []

Following the site visit, we will return to the California Center for the Arts to convene the informational hearing at 6:00 p.m.


On February 6, 2002, the Energy Commission began review of the (PEP). The review process will take approximately twelve 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, the project would be constructed on a vacant 20-acre site within a 186-acre planned industrial park known as the Escondido Research and Technology Center (ERTC). The site is located west of Interstate 15 and south of State Highway 78, about 600 feet southwest of the intersection of Vineyard Avenue and Enterprise Street. Access to the site is provided from State Highway 78 by traveling south on Nordahl Road, which becomes Vineyard Avenue. The site is bounded on the north by a vacant lot where a separate 49-MW power plant will be constructed, on the east by existing industrial park uses, on the south by future industrial uses, and on the west by an existing San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) transmission corridor.

The PEP is one of the resources identified to supply electricity under a contract between Sempra Energy Resources and the California Department of Water Resources for the sale of 1900 MW.

The PEP would consist of two power islands, a 230-kV switchyard that would connect to the existing SDG&E transmission line along the western boundary of the site, control and administrative buildings, a cooling tower facility, storage tanks, natural gas compressors, water and fuel supply pipelines, and other ancillary facilities.

Each power island would consist of a 165-MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine generator, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with supplemental duct firing, and a shared steam turbine generator with a peaking output of about 229 MW. Each HRSG would include a 110-foot tall exhaust stack. The project would utilize dry low NOx combustors, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, and oxidizing catalysts to reduce air pollutant emissions in accordance with requirements of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District. The project would be fueled exclusively by natural gas delivered by (SDG&E), a California utility. An existing 16-inch SDG&E natural gas pipeline is located adjacent to the northeast corner of the site at the end of Enterprise Street. SDG&E would construct an upgrade consisting of 2600 feet of 16-inch pipeline to relieve a bottleneck in the existing system about one mile northeast of the site.

The project would utilize reclaimed water supplied by the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility (HARRF) operated by the City of Escondido via a new 1.1 mile, 16-inch pipeline extending from an existing reclaimed water main. Brine from the project would be returned to HARRF via a new 1.1 mile, 8-inch return pipeline routed alongside the reclaimed water supply pipeline and connecting to an existing brine return line. Reclaimed water would be used for the project's evaporative cooling tower. Potable water from the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District would be used for fire protection, mechanical processes, and domestic purposes.

The engineering and environmental details of the proposed project are contained in the Application for Certification (AFC). Copies of the AFC are available at the local public agencies that are involved in the review process and at the following libraries:

  • Escondido Public Library 239 South Kalmia Street, Escondido, CA 92025
  • East Valley Branch Library, 2245 East Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92027
  • Valley Center Public Library 29115 Valley Center Road, Escondido, CA 92082

Purpose of the Informational Hearing

The power plant certification process, which incorporates requirements equivalent to 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, Commission staff, 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 members of the community and governmental agencies will have an opportunity to obtain information and offer comments on the proposal. The Applicant will explain plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative licensing process and its role in reviewing the application. Applicant and Staff will also discuss the schedule and possible issues that may be significant during this proceeding.

Proposed Schedule and Issue Identification Report

To assist participants in understanding the project, Applicant and Staff shall each file a proposed schedule for reviewing the project and Staff shall file an Issue Identification Report summarizing the potential major issues. The proposed schedules and Staff's report shall be filed no later than noon on Friday, March 15, 2002. The parties shall indicate whether anticipated data responses would resolve issues of concern raised in Staff's report. Copies of these documents will be available on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at: [] Printed copies are available from the Public Adviser as described below.

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: []


Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to Bob Eller, the Staff Project Manager, at (916) 651-8835 or e-mail at:

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Susan Gefter, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-3893 or e-mail at:

If you require special accommodation to participate in this event, contact Priscilla Ross at (916) 653-6631 or e-mail at:

Media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director for Media and Public Communications at (916) 654-4989 or e-mail at:

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, is available on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at:

Dated February 19, 2002, at Sacramento, California.

Commissioner and Presiding Member
Palomar AFC Committee
Chairman and Associate Member
Palomar AFC Committee

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