[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission


On August 17, 1999, the Los Medanos Energy Center (Los Medanos), formerly the Pittsburg District Energy Facility, was licensed by the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission). The combined cycle, cogeneration power plant, located in the City of Pittsburg, began construction on September 20, 1999 and is about 33 percent completed. The project is expected to be on-line by July 2001.

On July 7, 2000, Energy Commission staff received a request from the Calpine Corporation to modify the project description for Los Medanos. Specifically, the Calpine Corporation (Calpine) seeks approval to reroute the 115kV-transmission line from the Los Medanos site to USS-POSCO.


The Energy Commission licensed Los Medanos to include a 115kV overhead transmission line to serve USS-POSCO. The transmission line route as approved would exit Los Medanos switchyard from the south, head east, paralleling the BN&SF railroad tracks and Santa Fe Street. The Energy Commission-approved route would then cross over several existing PG&E distribution lines located near the intersection of Santa Fe and Columbia Streets.

Calpine recently learned that crossing over the existing PG&E distribution lines would require the use of poles higher than 75 feet. The use of transmission poles with heights that exceed 75 feet will result in non-compliance with Visual Resources Ten (VIS-10) and Transmission System Engineering One (TSE-1). The language in VIS-10 and TSE-1 specifically state that all transmission poles shall be a maximum of 75 feet in height.

Calpine is proposing to reroute the 115kV line to exit the Los Medanos site on the northeast side and enter USS-POSCO from Third Street. The transmission line and the accompanying transition stations will be located entirely within the USS-POSCO complex and will not be visible to the public.


Energy Commission staff has reviewed Calpine's petition and agrees that modifying the 115kV line will not cause a significant environmental impact and will be beneficial because the transmission line will be rerouted through an already heavily disturbed area and will not be visible to the public.

Although the new route will result in more ground disturbances, there are no known paleontological or cultural resources associated with the rerouted line. The implementation of current Cultural and Paleontological Resources conditions of certification will ensure that adverse impacts to any discovered resources will not occur.


Pursuant to Title 20, California Code of Regulations section 1769 (a)(2), Commission approval for this change is not required if Commission staff determines that (1) there is no possibility that the modifications may have a significant effect on the environment, (2) the modification will not result in a change or deletion of a condition adopted by the Commission in the final decision or (3) the change will cause the project not to comply with any applicable laws, ordinances, regulations or standards.

Commission staff has determined that the proposed change meets the above criteria. Any person may file an objection to staff's determination within 14 days of service of this notice on grounds that the change does not meet the criteria set forth in section 1769. If no objection is filed, no further Commission action will be taken other than placing a description of the change in the project file.

If you wish to file an objection to the staff determination, please contact Ms. Jeri Scott, Compliance Project Manager, within 14 days of the date of this notice at the following address:

California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street (MS 2000)
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

You may also call (916) 654-4228, FAX (916) 654-3882, or e-mail at jscott@energy.state.ca.us.

Dated: September 21, 2000

Deputy Director,
Energy Facilities Siting and Environmental Protection

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