For Immediate Release: July 30, 2015
Media Contact: Michael A. Ward - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Approves Carlsbad Energy Center Amendments
Also approved precautionary backup water plans for two San Joaquin Valley power plants

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission approved two amendments for the proposed Carlsbad Energy Center Project (CECP) at its business meeting today and approved contingency water plans for two power plants threatened by drought conditions.

The CECP amendments, which are supported by the city of Carlsbad, address community concerns regarding the coastline, while providing reliable fast-response generation to help meet the region’s energy demands, which were impacted by the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County.

The CECP was licensed as a 540-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired combined-cycle power generator by the Energy Commission in 2012. Two years later, the owner, NRG, petitioned to modify the project to a 632-MW natural gas-fired, simple-cycle power generator. In addition to the increase in generating capacity, the CECP amendments allow modifications to the proposed plant’s design, construction and operation, as well as the removal of obsolete facilities including a 400-foot exhaust stack at the adjoining Encina Power Station (EPS) complex.

In 2014, Carlsbad reached an agreement with NRG to reduce the profile of the new power plant, remove the old facility and support the city’s goal of returning coastal lands to non-industrial use. Although the CECP’s profile will exceed the city’s height limit, it will be less than the EPS complex and will only occupy about a third of the property’s 95-acre footprint.

Demolition and construction will take about five years. Nearly 100 people will be employed with an estimated peak workforce of more than 275 people. The operational plant will have a staff of about 18 people.

In other business, the Energy Commission approved petitions allowing the 330-MW GFW Tracy Power Plant to use backup water supplies for operations and the 200-MW Mariposa Energy Project located near Tracy to install temporary storage tanks for its backup water.

Both power plants currently have adequate water supplies and are implementing precautionary measures because of the drought.

The complete business meeting agenda is available at

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California's response to the drought
For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit the California Drought Page. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at

About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.