King City Emergency Peaker Project
Emergency Peaker Project

Docket Number:

01-EP-06 (Application For Certification)
01-EP-06C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: January 14, 2002

Applicant: Calpine

Location: King City, Monterey County

Size: 50 Megawatt Peaking Power Plant

Key Dates

  • 4/5/2001 - Small Power Plant Exemption (EP) filed
  • 4/11/2001 - Commission accepts EP as "data adequate."
  • 5/2/2001 - Commission approves Small Power Plant Exemption.
  • 1/14/2002 - Power plant on line and producing power.


The King City LM6000 Project (KCP) 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 2, 2001, the Energy Commission approved the 50 megawatt (MW) natural-gas fired simple-cycle peaking King City LM6000 project. Commercial operation began on January 14, 2002.

The approved location was a 6.7-acre cleared and graded portion of leased property adjacent to the existing King City Cogeneration Facility. The KCP consists of a single natural gas-fired, aero-derivative combustion turbine generator used to rapidly respond to peak system electricity demands.

On June 25, 2001, the Energy Commission approved a petition to relocate KCP to an adjacent 8.04-acre parcel because it was unable to obtain site control for the facility at the permitted location. The project is currently located adjacent to Calpineā€™s existing King City Cogeneration power plant at 750 Metz Road, King City, in Monterey County.

On August 22, 2001, the Energy Commission approved a petition to extend the on-line date to no later than December 28, 2001.

A December 28, 2001 letter was filed by Calpine to notify the Energy Commission that KCP was available to produce power into the grid, if called upon in an emergency.

On June 11, 2003, the Energy Commission approved a petition to transfer the ownership and obligations imposed by the conditions of certification for the Calpine King City LM 6000 project from Calpine Corporation to Gilroy Energy Center, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Calpine Corporation. Calpine also requested that the plant name of Calpine King City LM 6000 Project, as it appears on the Energy Commission Decision of May 2, 2001, be changed to King City Energy Center.

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 KCEC for the life of the facility, until such time that it ceases operations and commences permanent closure activities.

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

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Media & Public Communications Office
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Compliance Proceeding

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