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

The Watson Cogeneration Plant is located on 21.7 acres adjacent to the Tesoro Carson Refinery in the city of Carson, Los Angeles County. The project area is zoned Heavy Manufacturing and is surrounded by existing refineries and other industrial facilities. Process steam is provided to the adjacent Refinery.

WCP is a 385-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle, cogeneration facility consisting of four parallel combustion gas turbine generators /heat recovery steam generator trains, two parallel steam turbine-driven power generator trains, associated auxiliaries and utilities, a control room, an electrical substation and a transmission line.

The electrical power generated in the WCP is sold to the Southern California Edison (SCE) Company via a high voltage transmission line connecting the VCP with the SCE Hinson Substation.

On April 11, 2012, the California Energy Commission approved an Application for Certification (09-AFC-01C) to add a 5th train to the existing project, the Watson Cogeneration Steam and Electric Reliability Project; however, the project was officially terminated by the Energy Commission on July 8, 2015 at the owner’s request.

  • Order Approving Change to Mechanical Engineering Condition of Certification No. 3, Not in Docket, 02/11/1987, Order No. 87-0211, Commission approval that the requirement in Condition of Certification MECH-3, as written, is not consistent with the act, specifically the industrial exemption within the act. Therefore, a change to the condition was necessary.
  • Order Approving Change to the Termination Configuration of Transmission Facilities, Not in Docket, 02/25/1987, Order No. 87-0225, Commission approval changes to the termination configuration of the AFC certified transmission facilities and to three conditions of certification in the ARCO Watson Commission Decision.
  • Order Approving Changes to Air Quality Conditions of Certification, Not in Docket, 10/13/1987, Order No. 87-1013, Commission approval to include a Merox system to clean ARCO’s refinery gas to meet the sulfur content limits imposed by Air Quality Condition of certification 1-14.
  • Order Approving Changes to Air Quality Conditions of Certification 1-27 and 1-28, Not in Docket, 12/03/1987, Order No. 87-1203, Commission approval of changes to two air quality conditions of certification, 1-26 and 1-28, which are part of the Determination of Compliance which was included in the  Commission Decision.
  • Order Approving a Change to Air Quality Condition of Certification 1-4, Not in Docket, 01/05/1988, Order No. 88-0105, Commission approval of modification to Air Quality conditions of certification for relief from several start-up test emissions.
  • Order Approving an Amendment to Air Quality Conditions of Certification, Not in Docket, 05/25/1988, Order No. 88-0525-18b, Commission approval of the modification and approval of Air Quality conditions of certification pertaining to permissible emissions rates during periods of startup and shutdown.
  • Order Approving the Change in Ownership of the Arco/Watson Cogeneration Project from Arco Petroleum Products Company to the Watson Cogeneration Company, Not in Docket, 06/22/1988, Order No. 88-0622-35i, Commission approval to transfer project ownership from the ARCO Petroleum Products Company to the Watson Cogeneration Company.
  • Order Approving Amendment of Public Health Condition of Certification 2 and Rescinding Conditions 1, 3, 4 and 5, Not in Docket, 07/12/1989, Order No. 89-0712, Commission approval to modify condition of certification Public Health No. 2, and delete conditions of certification Public Health 1, 3, 4, and 5.
  • Order Approving Amendment of Air Quality Conditions by The Addition of Condition of Certification 1-47, Not in Docket, 08/08/1990, Order No. 90-0808-03a, Commission approval to add a new Air Quality Condition 1-47 which will provide temporary relief from NOx emission limitations imposed on the cogeneration system by Air Quality Conditions 1-11, 1-13, 1-16, and 1-17. This temporary relief will expire on or before May 31, 1991 as stated in the new condition.
  • Order Approving the Addition of a Water Spray System to the Ammonia Storage Tank, Not in Docket, 10/03/1990, Order No. 90-1003-07a, Commission approval of the addition of an overhead water spray system to the ammonia storage tank based on a Los Angeles County Fire Department recommendation.
  • Order Approving a Change in Cooling Tower Water Treatment, Not in Docket, 10/03/1990, Order No. 90-1003-07b, Commission approval to change the chemicals used for cooling tower water treatment based on a Los Angeles County Fire Department recommendation.
  • Order Approving Modification ARCO Watson Cogeneration Project of Air Quality Conditions of Certification 1-16 and 1-34, and Deletion of Condition of Approval and Verification 1-46, Not in Docket, 02/20/1991, Order No. 91-0220-08e, Commission approval to modify Air Quality conditions of certification 1-16 and 1-34, and delete condition of certification 1-46. These conditions restrict operation of more than two of the four gas turbines simultaneously with the operation of a steam boiler (Boiler #42).
  • Order Approving Modification of Steam Turbine Generators, Not in Docket, 12/02/1992, Order No. 92-1202-05, Commission approval to eliminate the steam bypasses and make modifications to the rotating blades and stationary elements in order to allow full steam flow through all stages of the turbines.
  • Order Approving Amendment for Duct Burner Modification on Heat Recovery Steam Generators, Not in Docket, 03/02/1994, Order No. 94-0302-05c, Commission approval to modify the duct burner for its heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) to allow more heat to produce more refinery steam.
  • Commission Order Approving Transfer of Partial Ownership to Carson Cogeneration Company, TN 4041, 01/30/1997, Order No. 97-0122-01c, Commission approval for 49 percent of the 51 percent share held by Products Cogeneration Company to be transferred to Carson Cogeneration Company.
  • Order Approving Amendment For 45-Megawatt Fifth Train Expansion of Facility, TN 7286, 10/17/1997, Order No. 97-0924-04, Commission approval to construct a new fifth train addition of 45 megawatts.
  • NRG Energy acquisition of EME assets, including interest in Watson Cogeneration, TN 202273, 04/30/2014, Letter notifying CEC of upstream ownership changes. NRG Energy acquired Edison Mission Energy assets, including Watson Cogeneration.

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 (85-AFC-01)

Exhibit List

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