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

The Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) is located in the City of Hayward in Alameda County.

The RCEC is an approximately 600-megawatt natural gas-fired, wet cooled, combined cycle electric generating facility consisting of two Siemens Westinghouse “F-class” combustion turbine generators equipped with dry, low oxides of nitrogen(NOx) combustors and steam injection capability; two heat recovery steam generators; a single condensing steam turbine-generator; a de-aerating surface condenser; a mechanical draft hybrid, (wet/dry) plume-abated cooling tower; and support equipment. To control emissions of air pollutants, RCEC will have gas turbines with dry, low nitrogen oxide (NOx) burners. The units will use the best available control technology (BACT) including selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for control of NOx.

RCEC received two extensions on the start of construction deadline. The CEC approved extensions from September 10, 2007 to September 10, 2008 (TN 42166) and from September 10, 2008 to September 10, 2010 (TN 47329).

On September 26, 2007, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a Post-Certification Amendment (PCA) (TN 42598) to move the project facilities approximately 1,300 feet north and west of the approved location; adding ZLD facility; adding Title 22 recycled water facility; removing advanced water treatment facility and standby generator; relocating up to 1,000 fee of transmission line route; new natural gas pipeline route, new construction laydown/parking.

On February 20, 2019, the CEC approved a Post-Certification Amendment for the installation of a battery energy storage system (BESS) approximately 6 to 10 megawatts (MW). The BESS is in response to the California Independent System Operator selection of the facility to provide Black Start service.

On June 3, 2021, Russell City Energy Company, LLC (project owner) filed a post certification petition (TN#: 238126) with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to modify the Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) (01-AFC-07C). The project owner is  requesting temporary safety modifications to the steam turbine condenser, which would allow the facility to operate in simple-cycle mode.

On July 15, 2021, the California Energy Commission approved thetemporary safety modification request to have the plant operate in simple-cycle mode while repairs are being carried out.  The Incident is still under investigation to the root cause.

On Friday, May 28, 2021, at 2:27 p.m., the California Energy Commission (CEC) was informed by Russell City Energy Center that it was in a forced outage because of a serious steam turbine generator incident at 11:47 p.m. on May 27, 2021. During Russell City Energy Center night shift’s normal shutdown procedures for taking the power plant offline, an incident in the steam turbine generator occurred causing an onsite explosion and fire.

The Russell City Energy Center May 2021 Incident resulted in a Root Cause Gap Analysis that was developed to summarize the CEC’s investigation into the factors that contributed to the May 27, 2021, incident and to determine what corrective actions would be required for the Russell City Energy Center to safely restart operations. In addition to determining the causal factors of the May 27, 2021, events, the CEC focused its investigation on worker safety, fire safety, hazardous materials, onsite physical security, and other conditions of certification as warranted.

On April 26, 2022 the California Energy Commission approved and adopted the corrective actions identified in Chapter 4 of CEC Staff’s Root Cause Gap Analysis Report (TN 242769), and orders their completion by RCEC’s project owner prior to returning to combined-cycle operations.

The CEC Order Adopting Staff Recommended Corrective Actions and Delegating Authority to the Executive Director (TN 242924).

  • Order Approving Transfer of Ownership to Russell City Energy Company, LLC, TN 41807, 08/06/2007, Order No. 07-0801-05, Commission approval of change in ownership from Calpine Corporation to Russell City Energy Company, LLC.
  • Order Approving Extension of the Deadline for Commencement Construction, TN 42166, 08/31/2007, Order No. 07-0829-05, Commission approval of start of construction deadline extension of one year, from September 10, 2007, to September 10, 2008.
  • Commission Adoption Order – Approval to Move the Project 1300 Feet, TN 42598, 10/02/2007, Order No. 07-0926-04, Commission approval to move the project facilities approximately 1,300 feet north and west of the approved location; adding ZLD facility; adding Title 22 recycled water facility; removing advanced water treatment facility and standby generator; relocating up to 1,000 fee of transmission line route; new natural gas pipeline route, new construction laydown/parking.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Extend the Deadline for Commencement of Construction, TN 47329, 07/31/2008, Order No. 08-0730-03, Commission approval of start of construction deadline extension of two years, from September 10, 2008, to September 10, 2010.
  • Order Amending the Energy Commission Decision to Add Parking and Construction Laydown Areas, TN 58034, 08/16/2010, Order No. 10-0811-05, Commission approval to add four new parcels as construction worker parking and construction laydown areas, routing the potable water supply and sanitary sewer pipelines, and updating AQ conditions of certification to meet current BACT standards.
  • Approval of Requested Modification to Verification Language for Condition of Certification SOIL&WATER-8, TN 58151, 08/24/2010, Staff approval to modify the verification language in condition of certification SOIL&WATER-8.
  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend Air Quality, Hazardous Materials Management, and Visual Resources Conditions of Certification, TN 71498, 07/01/2013, Order No. 13-0508-06, Commission approval to modify Air Quality to clarify certain terms concerning monitoring, test methods, and timing for initial source testing, and to conform to the conditions in BAAQMD Authority to Construct, Hazardous Materials (HAZ-5) and Visual Resources conditions of certification (VIS-2, VIS-9 and VIS-10).
  • Order Approving a Petition to Amend to Implement Recycled Water Demineralization System, TN 212732, 08/10/2016, Order No. 16-0810-03, Commission approval to install new demineralization system, designed to produce demineralized water from recycled water supply which would be used for steam cycle makeup water and combustion turbine inlet air cooling.
  • Notice of Determination Petition to Amend to Install A New 6,667 Gallon Sodium Hydroxide Storage Tank, TN 221692, 11/06/2017, Staff approval to install a permanent 6,667 gallon tank for storage of sodium hydroxide to use in the project's zero liquid discharge system and for cooling tower pH control.
  • Order Approving Petition to Install a Battery Energy Storage System, TN 227166, 02/25/2019, Order No. 19-0220-02, Commission approval to allow the installation of a battery energy storage system to provide Black Start service in response to a need identified by the California ISO. The batteries would be used to start the gas turbines to restart the power plant in the event of a blackout to support the restoration of the electrical grid in response to an emergency condition.
  • 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.
  • Statement of Staff Approval of Temporary Operation in Simple-Cycle Mode, TN 238292, 06/18/2021, Staff approval to allow all the steam from the heat recovery steam generators to be routed directly to the steam condenser and ensure safe operation of the facility in simple-cycle mode.
  • Order Approving Post Certification Petition to Allow Facility to Operate in Simple-Cycle Mode, TN 238943, 07/20/2021, Order No. 21-0715-3, Commission approval allowing the facility to return to service at its simple-cycle generation capacity, provide frequency and voltage services, and support local and system grid reliability needs in the summer and fall of 2021.

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

As required by the Warren-Alquist Act, the Energy Commission monitors projects under its jurisdiction throughout construction, operation, and closure to ensure compliance with the conditions of certification imposed for approving the projects.

Original Proceeding

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Docket Log (01-AFC-07)

Exhibit List

Proof of Service List

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