Gilroy Energy Center
Emergency Peaker Project

Docket Number:

01-EP-08 (Application For Certification)
01-EP-08C (Compliance Proceeding)


Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: Phase 1 (Unit 1 & 2) - January 29, 2002
Operational: Phase 2 (Unit 3) - February 20, 2002


Applicant: Calpine

Location: Gilroy, Santa Clara County

Size: 135 Megawatt Peaking Power Plant


Key Dates

  • Phase 1 (Unit 1 & 2)
    • 5/1/2001 - Small Power Plant Exemption (EP) filed
    • 5/6/2001 - Commission accepts EP as "data adequate."
    • 5/21/2001 - Commission approves Small Power Plant Exemption.
    • 1/29/2002 - Phase 1 (Unit 1 & 2) on line and producing power.
    • Phase 2 (Unit 3)
      • 5/1/2001 - Small Power Plant Exemption (EP) filed
      • 5/6/2001 - Commission accepts EP as "data adequate."
      • 5/21/2001 - Commission approves Small Power Plant Exemption.
      • 2/20/2002 - Phase 2 (Unit 3) on line and producing power.

    GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

    The Gilroy City LM6000 Phase 1 project was reviewed under Public Resources Code section 25705, which granted the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) emergency permitting authority, and Executive Order D-26-01, issued February 8, 2001 and Executive Order D-28-01 issued on March 7, 2001. In Executive Order D-26-01 and D-28-01, the Governor ordered the Energy Commission and other relevant state and local agencies to expedite review of proposed thermal power plants for construction and operation on an emergency basis by September 30, 2001. The Governor also declared that these projects were emergency projects under Public Resources Code section 21080(b)(4), and are thereby exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

    On May 21, 2001, the Energy Commission approved the 135 megawatt (MW) natural-gas fired simple-cycle peaking Gilroy City LM 6000 Phase I Project (GCP).

    The GEC project consists of three natural gas-fired, aero-derivative combustion turbine generators used to rapidly respond to peak system electricity demands. The three 45 MW General Electric LM6000 PC Sprint turbine generators and associated facilities on approximately 7 acres adjacent to the existing Gilroy Cogeneration plant at 1350 Pacheco Pass Highway, Gilroy, Santa Clara County.

    On October 31, 2001, the Energy Commission approved a petition to extend the deadline of the on-line date from September 30, 2001 to December 14, 2001.

    A December 7, 2001 letter from Calpine notified the Energy Commission that the Gilroy Energy Center Units 1 and 2 would be available to produce power to the California power grid on December 4, 2001, if called upon in an emergency.

    A February 14, 2002 letter from Calpine notified the Energy Commission that the Gilroy Energy Center Unit 3 would be available to produce power to the California power grid on February 12, 2002, if called upon in an emergency.

    On May 28, 2003, the Energy Commission approved a petition to allow the installation and operation of a Zero Liquid Discharge Wastewater Treatment System at the site.

    On June 11, 2003, the Energy Commission approved a petition to transfer the ownership and obligations imposed by the conditions of certification for the Gilroy City LM 6000 Phase I Project from Calpine Corporation to Gilroy Energy Center, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Calpine Corporation. The name of the project was also changed from Gilroy City LM 6000 Phase I Project to Gilroy Energy Center (GEC).

    The Energy Commission Decision included a provision that would allow for the certification to be extended for the life of the project, provided that the conditions of certification were current and in compliance, the project was permanent in nature, and air emission credits were in place. On April 11, 2012, the Energy Commission approved the extension of the GEC for the life of the facility, until such time that it ceases operations and commences permanent closure activities.


    Emergency Power Plant Permitting Process

    Under Public Resources Code section 25705, if the legislature or the Governor declares a state of energy emergency, the Energy Commission has emergency authority to order the construction and use of generating facilities under terms and conditions it specifies to protect the public interest. This authority can be invoked only if the Legislature or Governor declares a state of emergency and the Energy Commission determines that all reasonable conservation, allocation, and service restriction measures may not alleviate an energy supply emergency.

    Governor Gray Davis declared a state of emergency on January 17, 2001. On February 8 and March 7, 2001, the Governor issued several executive orders, including Executive Orders D-26-01 and D-28-01, in which the Governor ordered the Energy Commission to expedite the processing of applications for peaking and renewable power plants that were to be on line by September 30, 2001. The Governor also declared that these projects were emergency projects under Public Resources Code section 21080(b)(4), and were thereby exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

    The goal of this 21-day emergency permitting process was to identify and permit power plants that could respond to the energy emergency without sacrificing the public’s health or safety or California’s environment.



    For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

    Anwar Ali
    Project Manager
    Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
    California Energy Commission
    1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-654-5020
    E-mail: Anwar.Ali@energy.ca.gov

    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

Compliance Proceeding

Original Proceeding

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