Docket Number
550 MW
Kern County
Combined Cycle
Project Status
Operational (Natural Gas-Fired)
Project Type
Application for Certification
Project Description

The Elk Hills Power Plant (EHPP) is located on a 12-acre site within the Elk Hills Oil and Gas Field, in western Kern County, near the community of Tupman. The project is directly adjacent to the highly disturbed and developed 35R Gas Processing Facilities and the 35R Cogeneration Plant, both operated by Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. (OEHI). The 74-square mile Elk Hills Oil and Gas Field is a fenced and secured area. The nearest residence is located more than 5 miles from EHPP.

EHPP is a nominal 550-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, natural gas-fired, cogeneration power generating plant. The plant is powered by two General Electric 7FA technology combustion turbine generators (CTGs). Exhaust gas from the CTGs is directed to two supplementary fired heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) for the generation of high-pressure, intermediate pressure, and low-pressure steam that drives the steam turbine generator. Supplementary firing (duct burner firing) capability is provided in each HRSG to generate additional steam for peak power production. The EHPP facility utilizes Selective Catalytic Reduction systems for the control of oxides of nitrogen emissions and oxidation catalysts for the control of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compound emissions. A mechanical draft cooling tower provides heat rejection for the steam cycle. The cooling tower is comprised of six cells and is equipped with high-efficiency drift eliminators. One diesel-fired internal combustion engine is used to drive a fire water pump.

EHP delivers electricity to the EHP 230-kilovolt switchyard, which then is transmitted via a generation tie line to the interconnection point at the Pacific Gas and Electric’s Midway Substation. The 9.8-mile water supply pipeline extends from the plant site east to the West Kern Water District facilities near Tupman. In addition, a 4.4-mile wastewater disposal pipeline extends from the plant heading south generally paralleling Elk Hills Road, terminating at Class 1 injection wells.

On August 16, 2011, the California Energy Commission approved Post-Certification Amendment (TN 61726) to allow EHPP to deliver useful cogenerated thermal energy to support natural gas processing facilities in the adjacent OEHI 35R Gas Processing Facilities. Providing thermal energy to the 35R Gas Processing Facilities reduces load at the EHPP cooling tower and thereby reduces the overall water use by EHPP.

  • Correction to Verification for Facility Design Condition of Certification GEN-6, TN 18596, 01/12/2001, Staff approval of inaccurate verification concerning appropriate documentation and CBO/CPM notification procedures.
  • Approval of Modification of LAND-1 Verification, Not in Docket, 03/19/2001, Staff approval of a modification to verification permitting the project to submit required documents to Energy Commission prior to the start of construction of permanent facilities, rather than prior to ground disturbance activities.
  • Approval of Integration of New or Re-Powered Generating Units with CAL-ISO, TN 21920, 08/09/2001, Staff approval to add Condition of Certification TSE-4 to Ensure Coordinated Integration of New Generating Unit with California's Electricity Grid.
  • Approval of Modifications to Condition of Certification AQ-C2, TN 22856, 10/24/2001, Staff Approval of Modifications to Condition of Certification AQ-C2 to clarify requirements of oxidizing soot filter suitability reports for diesel-fired construction equipment, and revision of timing of suitability report submittals.
  • Order Approving Revision of Transportation Condition of Certification TRANS-7, TN 27815, 01/13/2003, Order No. 03-0108-01d, Commission approval to modify Condition of Certification TRANS-7 to allow the existing temporary construction equipment access road to be used as the permanent, primary entrance road to the project.
  • Order Approving Modification of Air Quality Conditions of Certification, TN 28447, 03/21/2003, Order No. 03-0319-01a, Commission approval to allow for tendering of PM10 emission reduction credits based on the outcome of initial source tests and allow for a temporary increase in commissioning emissions.
  • Order Approving Increase of Startup-Shutdown Emissions, Not in Docket, Order No. 03-0723-09, Commission approval for an increase in criteria air emissions during startup-shutdown phases, increase in the size of emergency fire water pump, and modification of cooling tower operation.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Reduce PM10 Emission Rates, TN 31147, 03/24/2004, Order No. 04-0317-1(c), Commission approval to reduce PM10 emission rates based on results of initial source tests and operating data from similar combined-cycle power plants.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Extend Cold Startup Time Limits, TN 33792, 03/30/2005, Order No. 05-0316-02, Commission approval to extend the duration of cold startup time limits from four to six hours.
  • Order Approving Change of Nine Air Quality Conditions of Certification, TN 44066, 01/09/2008, Order No. 08-0102-04, Commission approval to change nine Air Quality conditions of certification.
  • Approval of Petition to Move Approximately 1,200 Feet of Water Line, TN 45734, 04/07/2008, Staff approval of modifications to approximately 1,200 feet of water line 4 miles SE of project.
  • Approval of Phase 1 Switchyard Modifications, TN 50883, 04/07/2009, Staff approval of Phase 1 Switchyard conversion of PG&E 115kV system to PG&E 230 kV system.
  • Approval of Phase 2 Switchyard Modifications, TN 53544, 10/05/2009, Staff approval of Phase 2 Switchyard conversion of PG&E 115kV system to PG&E 230 kV system.
  • Order Approving Amending Air Quality Conditions of Certification, TN 58487, 09/16/2010, Order No. 10-0908-07, Commission approval to change the cooling tower PM10 emission limits for consistency with SJVAPD.
  • Approval of Requested Modification to Allow Operation as a Cogeneration Facility, TN 61726, 08/19/2011, Staff approval to add connections to high/intermediate pressure steam and condensate system allowing EHP to deliver cogenerated thermal energy to support natural gas processing facilities in the adjacent Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. facilities.
  • Order Approving a Petition to modify Air Quality Condition of Certification AQ-11, TN 203237, 10/22/2014, Order No. 14-1007-04, Commission approval to modify condition of certification AQ-11 to comply with all current applicable LORS.
  • Approval of Requested Modification to Install Two Vacuum Pump Skids, TN 210259, 02/10/2016, Staff approval to install two 100 percent capacity vacuum pump skids to replace the present steam-jet-based vacuum system.

Attention: Non-hypertext items above will need to be requested from the Compliance Project Manager, along with the document TN number, if provided above.

Power Plant Certification and Exemption Processes

The CEC has the exclusive authority to certify all thermal power plants 50 megawatts (MW) and larger and related facilities proposed for construction in California. The Application for Certification (AFC) process is a certified regulatory program under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As a certified regulatory program, the CEC does not prepare environmental impact reports (EIRs) in an AFC proceeding, but instead prepares environmental assessment documents that are functionally equivalent to EIRs. A certificate issued by the CEC is in lieu of any permit, certificate, or similar document otherwise required by any state, local or regional agency, or federal agency to the extent permitted by federal law, and supersedes any applicable statute, ordinance, or regulation of any state, local, or regional agency, or federal agency to the extent permitted by federal law.

Original Proceeding

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Docket Log (99-AFC-01)

Exhibit List

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