[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

NOTICE OF INSIGNIFICANT PROJECT CHANGE
MODIFICATION OF TRANSMISSION INTERCONNECTION
AT THE PG&E MIDWAY-BUTTONWILLOW SUBSTATION
SUNRISE POWER PROJECT
(98-AFC-4C)

The Sunrise Power Project (SPP) is a 320 MW simple-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant that was certified in December 2000, and commenced operation in June 2001. In November 2001, the Energy Commission approved the expansion of SPP to a nominal 585 MW combined-cycle power plant that is currently under construction and scheduled for commercial operation in summer 2003. SPP is located approximately 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield, and one mile southwest of the intersection of State Route 33 and Shale Road in Kern County, California.

On November 6, 2002, the Sunrise Power Company submitted a petition to the Energy Commission to modify their interconnection at Pacific Gas & Electric Company's (PG&E) Midway-Buttonwillow substation. SPP is currently connected to the Midway-Buttonwillow substation through the La Paloma-Sunrise 230 kV line. The modifications, described below, are based on PG&E's September 2002 Facilities Study that was prepared for the combined-cycle expansion. The Facilities Study states that there is a potential for a transmission system overload during outages or maintenance activities at the substation, and that facility modifications must be made by the Sunrise Power Company to minimize the potential for overload. The substation is located on the north side of State Route 58, approximately three miles west of Interstate 5, near the community of Buttonwillow in Kern County.

DESCRIPTION OF REQUESTED CHANGES WITHIN THE
MIDWAY-BUTTONWILLOW SUBSTATION

  • Relocate one of the two existing La Paloma/Sunrise 230kV circuits,

  • Add a new bay, switches, and relay,

  • Add four new transmission towers,

  • Reroute a segment of an existing roadway, and

  • Construct a perimeter fence under the new transmission line

ENERGY COMMISSION REVIEW PROCESS

Pursuant to section 1769(a)(2), Title 20, California Code of Regulations, Energy Commission approval for the change is not required if Energy Commission staff determines that the modification will: (1) not have a significant effect on the environment, (2) not result in a change or deletion of a condition of certification, and (3) not cause the project not to comply with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, or standards.

Energy Commission staff have determined that the proposed substation modifications comply with the foregoing criteria because:

  • The modifications will not have a significant effect on the environment because they are minor in nature, and the existing conditions of certification are adequate to avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts of the proposed modifications,

  • No changes to, or deletion of, an existing condition of certification will be required,

  • The substation modifications are in compliance with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations or standards, and

  • The modification will benefit the public by improving system reliability.

Any person may file a written objection to staff's determination on the grounds that the project modification does not meet the criteria set forth in Section 1769(a)(2). All objections must be sent either by U.S. mail or other document delivery service to Nancy Tronaas, Compliance Project Manager, at the address above, or by fax at (916) 654-3882. If no substantive objection is received by 5:00 P.M. on February 21, 2003, the requested project change will be approved.

If you have questions about this notice, please contact Nancy Tronaas at (916) 654-3864, or fax (916) 654-3882, or e-mail ntronaas@energy.state.ca.us.

 


Date: February 6, 2003


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TERRENCE O'BRIEN, Deputy Director
Systems Assessment & Facilities Siting



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