Gilroy I
Emergency Peaker Project

Docket Number:

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

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

Applicant: Calpine

Location: Gilroy, Santa Clara County

Size: 135 Megawatt Peaking Power Plant

Key Dates

  • 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 - Unit 1 & 2 on line and producing power.
    • 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 - Unit 3 on line and producing power.


    Calpine Corporation (Calpine) proposes to build and operate a 135-megawatt (MW) nominal output simple cycle combustion turbine generating facility in the City of Gilroy, Santa Clara County. The proposed facility, the Gilroy Phase 1 Project, is located adjacent to Calpine's Gilroy Co-Gen facility at 1350 Pacheco Pass Highway. See Figures 1-1 and 1-2 for the location of the Gilroy Phase 1 Project.

    Project Owner/Operator

    Name: Bryan J. Bertacchi, PE
    Title: Vice President, Western Region Operations Calpine Corporation
    Address: 6700 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 200
    Pleasanton, CA 94566
    Phone No.: (925) 600-2033

    Overview Of Power Plant And Linear Facilities

    Calpine is proposing the Gilroy Phase 1 Project in response to the state of emergency declared by Governor Davis on January 17, 2001 and several executive orders issued on February 8, 2001. Specifically, the Governor identified a goal of bringing 1,000 MW of new generating capacity on-line to meet peak demand. Executive Order D-26-01 directs the California Energy Commission (CEC) to expedite the review and approval of peaking projects that can be on-line by September 30, 2001. All such proposals are considered emergency projects under Public Resources Code section 21080(b)(4). The CEC emergency permitting process includes a 21-day review and approval period for a qualified project once an application is deemed complete. Due to these emergency conditions, the project is not intended to conform to the 12-year forecast of electric power demands adopted pursuant to California Public Resources Code Sec. 25305(e).

    Calpine corporation is considering the merits of two distinct projects that could be located at the Gilroy site. The first project consists of three gas turbines that would begin operating by September 30, 2001. As a result, the application for this first project is being submitted under the CEC's 21-day process. The second project being contemplated would add three more gas turbines to the existing site, for a total of six peaking turbines; however, the proposed second project would not begin operating until after this summer. Accordingly, this second project would require Calpine to submit an application for consideration under the CEC's four-month process.

    The Gilroy Phase 1 Project will consist of three 45-MW, natural-gas-fired simple-cycle peaking turbines and associated equipment located on 7-acres of existing agricultural land adjacent to the existing Gilroy Co-Gen facility. The Gilroy Phase 1 Project requires no new linear facilities. The project will interconnect to PG&E's electricity transmission system through a radial tap to PG&E's 115-kV transmission line located on the site. Natural gas will be provided through a connection to the existing PG&E gas supply located in Route 152 (Pacheco Pass Highway). The Project will obtain raw water through a connection with the existing site's well-water pumps or reclaimed water from the South County Regional Wastewater Authority's reclaimed water facility (if available). The existing site wells have sufficient capacity to supply a total of six simple-cycle peaking power plants. On-site trailer-mounted or skid-mounted water treatment (reverse-osmosis and de-mineralization) units will provide de-mineralized water on demand for turbine injection and cooling. Wastewater will be discharged either Gilroy Foods or directly to the City of Gilroy sewer system.

    Small Power Plant Exemption Evaluation Process

    The SPPE process allows projects between 50 and 100 MW to proceed with local approval rather than requiring an Energy Commission license. This exemption from the Energy Commission licensing process can be applied to projects that would not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment or energy resources. The Energy Commission acts as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will prepare an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration that examines public health and safety, along with environmental impacts of the proposed project, including all related facilities such as electric transmission lines, natural gas and water pipelines. If the exemption is granted, the applicant would still need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits from relevant local, state, and federal agencies.

    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

    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

    News Media Please Contact:

    Media & Public Communications Office
    Phone: 916-654-4989

Compliance Proceeding

Original Proceeding


Siting General List Serve
Automated Email Notifications

You will receive an email requesting that you confirm your subscription.