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  PANOCHE ENERGY CENTER               )   


On August 2, 2006, Panoche Energy Center, LLC ("Applicant"), filed an Application for Certification (AFC) with the California Energy Commission to construct and operate the Panoche Energy Center. The proposed project is a nominal 400-megawatt (MW) peaking power plant facility consisting of four natural-gas-fired turbines and associated equipment. The facility will be located in the unincorporated area of Fresno County near the Panoche Hills. The Energy Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to license this project and is considering the proposal under a twelve-month review process established by Public Resources Code section 25540.6.

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 as described below:

Site Visit begins at 3:30 p.m.
Public Informational Hearing begins at 4:45 p.m.

Mendota Community Center
195 Smoot Avenue
Mendota, California 93640
[Wheelchair Accessible]

Prior to the informational hearing, members of the public are invited to join the Committee on a tour of the proposed site. The Applicant will provide transportation to and from the site. For reservations, please contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser at (916) 654-4489 or, 1-800-822-6228 or, e-mail at: pao@energy.state.ca.us. Please make your reservation on or before December 8 so that we can assure you a space.


On November 8, 2006, the Energy Commission began review of the proposed Panoche Energy Center. 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

The Panoche Energy Center is a nominal 400 MW peaking power plant, proposed to be constructed on a site approximately 12 miles southwest of the City of Mendota, 2 miles east of Interstate 5 and next to the existing Pacific Gas & Electric Panoche Substation in the unincorporated area of Fresno County. The site is currently a producing pomegranate orchard and is subject to a Williamson Act Contract. The project will permanently occupy 12.8 acres of a 128-acre parcel and temporarily occupy an additional 8 acres as a construction laydown area.

The project consists of four General Electric LMS100 simple cycle natural-gas-fired turbines and associated equipment such as emission control systems necessary to meet the applicant's proposed emission limits. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will be controlled by ultra low NOx combustors in the turbines and selective catalytic reduction systems using aqueous ammonia. An oxidation catalyst will limit exhaust stack carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.

An intercooler, which requires a source of cooling water and cooling towers, will be used to increase turbine efficiency. Two new groundwater wells will draw water from a brackish aquifer for the cooling towers and other uses such as facility showers, sinks, toilets, eye wash stations, and safety showers. Potable water will be supplied by a bottled water service. Process wastewater will be disposed of via a deep well injection system. Sanitary wastes will be directed to a septic system and leach field.

The project will connect to the existing PG&E Panoche Substation via a 300-foot 230-kilovolt transmission line. Natural gas to fuel the turbines will come from a 2,400-foot lateral pipeline connecting to a PG&E high-pressure gas trunk line located east of the electrical substation.

The engineering and environmental details of the proposed project are contained in the Application for Certification (AFC). Copies of the AFC are available on the Energy Commission's web site (link provided below), at the local public agencies that are involved in the review process and at the following libraries: Fresno County Library; San Diego Public Library; UCLA, University Research Library; California State Library; San Francisco Public Library; Firebaugh Branch Library; and, Mendota Branch Library.

Purpose of the Informational Hearing

The power plant licensing process, which incorporates requirements equivalent to the California Environmental Quality Act, considers all relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. The licensing review 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 propose changes, mitigation measures, and alternatives as necessary.

The informational hearing scheduled in this Notice provides an opportunity for members of the community in the Panoche area to obtain information, to offer comments, and to view the project site. The Applicant will explain plans for developing the project and the related facilities. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative licensing process and Staff's role in reviewing the application.

Proposed Schedule and Issue Identification Report

To assist participants in understanding the process, Energy Commission staff shall file a proposed schedule for project review. Staff shall also file an Issue Identification Report summarizing the major issues. Staff's report shall indicate whether Applicant's data responses have been timely and what additional information is necessary to resolve issues of concern. The proposed schedule and Staff's report shall be filed by 5 p.m., December 6, 2006. The Applicant shall file and serve its response, if any, by 5 p.m. on December 8, 2006.

Public Adviser and Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser is available to assist the public in participating in the application review process. For those individuals who require general information on how to participate, please contact the Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489 or 1-800-822-6228 or e-mail: pao@energy.state.ca.us.

If you have a disability and need assistance to participate in this event, contact Lourdes Quiroz at 916-654-5146 or e-mail at: lquiroz@energy.state.ca.us.


Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to James Reede, the Staff Project Manager, at (916) 653-1245 or e-mail at: jreede@energy.state.ca.us.

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Paul Kramer, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-5103 or e-mail at: pkramer@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: mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us.

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, may be viewed on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/panoche.

Date Posted: November 21, 2006, at Sacramento, California. ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND

Commissioner and Presiding Member
Panoche AFC Committee

Vice-Chairman and Associate Member
Panoche AFC Committee

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