[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

__________________________________ )  



The California Energy Commission, a state agency, has exclusive jurisdiction to license new power plants that generate 50 megawatts (MW) or more. On April 21, 2003, the Modesto Irrigation District (MID or Applicant) filed an application for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE) seeking an exemption from the Energy Commission's licensing requirements. MID proposes to construct and operate a 95 MW power plant called the Modesto Irrigation District Electric Generation Station (MEGS). Under state law, power plants under 100 MW may be exempted from the Energy Commission's licensing process if the Energy Commission determines a project proposal is eligible for such an exemption. The SPPE review process provides the public forum for the Energy Commission's evaluation of the project's eligibility for an exemption.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Energy Commission has designated a Committee of two Commissioners to conduct proceedings on the SPPE. The Committee has scheduled a public informational hearing and site visit to discuss the proposed project with the Ripon community as described below:

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2003
Site Visit begins at 12:30 p.m.
Public Informational Hearing begins at 2:00 p.m.
Modesto Irrigation District Headquarters
Board Room
1231 11th Street
Modesto, California 95354
[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 bus transportation from the meeting site to the project site. Bus departure time will be 12:30 p.m. For bus reservations, please contact the Energy Commission's Public Adviser at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228 or email at: [].

Following the site visit, we will return to the meeting site to convene the informational hearing at 2:00 p.m.


The Energy Commission's SPPE review process will take approximately four months. For the MEGS to qualify for an exemption from the certification process, the Energy Commission must find that no substantial adverse impact on the environment or energy resources will result from construction or operation of the proposed facility. If an exemption is granted, the Applicant would need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits for the project from various local, state and federal agencies.

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 proposed project would be situated on a 12.25-acre site at the intersection of South Stockton Avenue and Doak Boulevard in the City of Ripon, located in San Joaquin County. The facility would occupy approximately six acres near the northern boundary of the site. An additional two acres would be needed for access to the plant and for new transmission lines. MID has obtained a purchase option on the 12.25-acre site, which consists of four parcels of industrially zoned land.

The proposed 95 MW natural gas-fired simple cycle plant would consist of two General Electric LM 6000 SPRINT combustion turbines. The electrical transmission interconnection would link MEGS to the MID power grid at the adjacent Stockton Substation via a new double-circuit 69 kilovolt (kV) sub-transmission line. A new fiber optic communications cable would be placed on the same poles as the new transmission line. The project would also require a new 0.25-mile natural gas supply line to connect to PG&E's existing pipeline at Stockton Avenue and West 4th Street. In addition, MID would construct new water supply and wastewater tap lines and two stormwater discharge pipelines, which would extend about 30 feet from the project site to the City of Ripon's respective lines to be installed beneath South Stockton Avenue in conjunction with the City's improvement project in that area.

The power plant facility, electric transmission lines, and fiber optic cable would be owned by MID. The sewer, storm water, potable and non-potable water lines would be owned by the City of Ripon. The natural gas pipeline would be owned by PG&E.

The details of the proposed project are contained in MID's application for the SPPE. Copies of the SPPE are available at local public libraries: Stanislaus County Library, 1500 I Street, Modesto, CA 95354 and Ripon Memorial Library, 430 W. Main Street, Ripon, CA 95366. Copies of the SPPE were also provided to local public agencies involved in the review process.

Purpose of the Informational Hearing

The SPPE review, which incorporates requirements equivalent to the Initial Study performed by local agencies under the California Environmental Quality Act, will examine relevant engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed project. The review process 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 discuss changes or alternatives as necessary.

The informational hearing is the first in a series of Energy Commission events where members of the community and governmental agencies will have an opportunity to obtain information and offer comments on the proposal. The Applicant will explain plans for developing the proposed site and related facilities. Energy Commission staff will explain the administrative review process. Applicant and Staff will also discuss the schedule and possible issues that may be significant during this proceeding.

Proposed Schedules and Issue Identification Report

To assist participants in understanding the project, Applicant and Staff shall each file a proposed schedule for the SPPE review timeline and Staff shall file an Issue Identification Report ("report") summarizing the potential major issues. The proposed schedules and Staff's report shall be filed and served no later than noon on Wednesday, May 14, 2003. These documents shall also be sent via email to the parties and to the Hearing Officer at [].. At the informational hearing, the parties shall indicate whether anticipated data responses would resolve issues of concern raised in Staff's report. Copies of these documents will be available on the Commission's Internet web page at:

Public Adviser and Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser is available to assist the public in participating in the SPPE review process. Members of the public may participate in all aspects of the administrative process in a variety of ways. If you need information concerning public participation, please contact the Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca at (916) 654-4489 or (800) 822-6228 or e-mail: [].


Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to James Reede, the Staff Project Manager, at (916) 653-81245 or email at: [].

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Stanley Valkosky, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-3893 or email at [].

If you require special accommodation to participate in this event, contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 or email at: [].

Media inquiries should be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director for Media and Public Communications at (916) 654-4989 or email at: [].

Information concerning the status of the project, as well as notices and other relevant documents, will be posted on the Energy Commission's Internet web page at: [].


Dated May 1, 2003, at Sacramento, California.


Commissioner and Presiding Member
MID SPPE Committee

Commissioner and Associate Member
MID SPPE Committee



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