SMUD Cosumnes
Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

01-AFC-19 (Application For Certification)
01-AFC-19C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: February 24, 2006.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on September 9, 2003. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Robert Pernell, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Arthur Rosenfeld, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Garret Shean

Key Dates

  • September 13, 2001 - Applicant files Application For Certification (AFC).
  • November 14, 2001 - Commission determines AFC is "data adequate."
  • February 11, 2003 - Part One, Final Staff Assessment released.
  • February 28, 2003 - Part Two, Final Staff Assessment released.
  • April 23, 2003 - Part Three, Final Staff Assessment released.
  • August 6, 2003 - Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released.
  • September 9, 2003 - Commission Final Decision approving project.
  • February 28, 2006 - Project on line and begins commercial operation.


On September 13, 2001, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) filed an Application for Certification (AFC) for the Cosumnes Power Plant (CPP) Project. SMUD seeks approval from the Energy Commission to construct and operate a natural gas power plant at the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant, 25 miles southeast of the City of Sacramento, in Sacramento County. The project would be located on a 30-acre portion of an overall 2,480-acre site owned by SMUD.

CPP will consist of a nominal 1,000 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle natural gas facility. The plant will be constructed in two phases, each consisting of 500 MW. Each phase will have two combustion turbines, one condensing steam turbine, and two heat recovery steam generators. The transmission line will consist of 0.4 miles of new 230-kV line from the on-site switchyard to the existing switchyard at Rancho Seco. The natural gas line will be supplied by 26-miles of district-owned gas line. The line is located between the project site and the Carson Ice-Gen Facility, in Sacramento County. A 0.4 mile connection to the existing 66-inch diameter water line will convey water from the Folsom-South Canal.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

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