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

The Los Medanos Energy Center (LMEC) is located on a 12-acre site on East 3rd Street, west of the intersection of East 3rd and Columbia in the City of Pittsburg, in eastern Contra Costa County. The site is on the northwest corner of property owned by USS-POSCO Industries.

LMEC is a nominal 500-megawatt (MW) combined cycle licensed as the Pittsburg District Energy Facility. LMEC consists of two trains of combustion turbine generators with a steam turbine generator. The combustion turbine trains include exhaust stacks and step-up transformers, heat recovery steam generator units, steam turbine generator units and their transformers, and water treatment and cooling towers. A 115-kilovolt high voltage switchyard is on the west side of the project site. Reclaimed water for turbine cooling is supplied from the Delta Diablo Wastewater Treatment Facility located in the City of Antioch.

On March 22, 2000, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a Post-Certification Amendment (PTA) (TN 14009) to change the name of the project From Pittsburg District Energy Facility to the Los Medanos Energy Center, to add a second circuit to the 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to increase the reliability of electricity to USS-POSCO, to modify the fuel gas pipeline to connect with the gas line at the Delta Energy Center project and tie in with the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Line 400, and to modify the steam line to allow the project to serve as back up steam supplier for Dow Chemical.

On May 18, 2011, the CEC approved a PTA (TN 60704) to make efficiency improvements, by increasing the turbine firing temperature, to the Advanced Gas Path in the existing turbines S-1 and S-3.

On March 8, 2021, a PTA (TN 237030) was docketed seeking approval to allow the LMEC to supply approximately one percent of its treated stack gas via above-ground pipeline to a neighboring carbon capture and utilization project being developed by San Francisco Bay Aggregates. The carbon capture and utilization facility would remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the delivered flue gas and combine it with locally sourced demolished or returned concrete to produce new CO2-sequestered and up cycled rock products. This PCA was approved by the Energy Commission on March 9, 2022.

On April 23, 2021, a PTA (TN 237531) was docketed seeking approval to allow the LMEC to supply approximately 0.04 percent of its treated stack gas via above-ground pipeline to an onsite to a carbon capture and utilization pilot project. The pilot project will be in operation for approximately 15 months with the equipment removed from the site after the pilot project is completed. This PCA is currently under review.

  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend Facility TSE-1d, Delete LAND-3, Provide Steam to Dow Chemical, and Change the Name of the Project, TN 14009, 03/22/2000, Order No. 00-0322-04, Commission approval to change project name to Los Medanos Energy Center and add second circuit to the 115 kV t-line to increase the reliability of electricity to USS-POSCO and amend TSE-1d, delete LAND-3, and provide steam to Dow Chemical.
  • Approval of A Petition to Reroute the Transmission Line, TN 15832, 10/10/2000, Staff approval to reroute the 115kV line from the Los Medanos Energy Center site to USS-POSCO.
  • Approval of Petition for Second Construction Site, TN 15764, 10/12/2000, Staff approval to modify project plant site layout.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend Air Quality Conditions of Certification, TN 18305, 01/31/2001, Order No. 01-0124-03, Modify AQ conditions to maximize the generating capability of the plant and add reliability to steam and power production.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend Soil and Water Condition of Certification Number Five, TN 18320, 01/31/2001, Order No. 01-0124-04, Commission approval to add Contra Costa Water District to SOIL & WATER-5 as an additional supplier of back-up water.
  • Commission Decision Re: Amendment to Relocate Transition Station, TN 19053, 03/07/2001, Order No. 01-0307-08, Commission approval to relocate the transition station and to add a 75-foot transmission pole.
  • Approval of Petition to Install Power Augmentation Steam Injection, TN 25797, 05/31/2001, Staff approval to installation of a power augmentation steam injection system.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend Startup and Tuning Emissions, TN 32350, 09/16/2004, Order No. 04-0908-04, Commission approval to modify various Air Quality Conditions of Certification to reflect a change in the cold start-up and turbine tuning emissions periods.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Lower the Annual PM10 Emissions Limit for the Facility, TN 40631, 05/29/2007, Order No. 07-0523-04, Commission approval to lower annual P10 emission limits and modify the language in AQ conditions 2I(h), 32(d) and 33(d).
  • Order Approving the Petition to Add Transmission Line, TN 48013, 09/12/2008, Order No. 08-0910-04, To add a new 4,950 double-circuit 115-kilovolt transmission line extending from LMEC to the Dow Pittsburg Facility, located east of LMEC.
  • Order Approving Petition to Amend to Make Efficiency Improvements, TN 60704, 05/20/2011, Order No. 11-0518-14, Commission approval to make efficiency improvements to the advanced gas path in the existing turbines S-1 and S-3. The efficiency improvements will be obtained by increasing the turbine firing temperature, thereby generating more power from the same amount of fuel.
  • Authorization for a Software Modification to Allow an Increased Firing Temperature When Warranted, Not in Docket, 11/30/2020, Staff approval of a software change to allow an increased firing temperature when additional megawatts are needed or requested by the California Independent System Operator.

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 (98-AFC-01)

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