For Immediate Release: March 1, 2017
Media Contact: Michael Ward - 916-654-4989


Proposed Decision Released for Amended Huntington Beach Energy Project

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission committee conducting proceedings on the Huntington Beach Energy Project (HBEP) amendment issued its Presiding Member’s Proposed Decision (PMPD) Feb. 24, recommending approval of a petition to modify the project.

The committee – Commissioner Andrew McAllister, presiding member and Commissioner Karen Douglas, associate member – concluded that the amended HBEP will, with mitigation, have no significant impacts on the environment and will comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.

The 844-megawatt (MW) natural-gas fired project will be developed by AES Southland Development, LLC. It will replace the 1950’s-era Huntington Beach Generating Station (HBGS), which uses “once-through cooling,” a practice that the State Water Resources Control Board is requiring to be phased out. The new air-cooled power plant will be built within the footprint of the existing and operational HBGS.

As recommended, the HBEP plant will have two power blocks – one with a 644-MW combined cycle combustion turbine generator, and another with two 100-MW simple cycle combustion turbine generators – that are expected to be operational in 2020 and 2024, respectively. Demolition of HBGS units 1 and 2 is expected to be completed by 2025. The HBEP is projected to employ more than 300 workers during peak construction and demolition periods and have 23 permanent employees after coming on line.

The Energy Commission licensed HBEP in October 2014 as a 939-MW facility. In September 2015, the developer petitioned to amend the project, lowering its generating capacity and modifying its operating equipment and design to meet the requirements of its power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison.

The PMPD is not a final decision on the proposed plant, but a recommendation by the committee. There will be a 30-day public review period for the PMPD. A committee conference will be held March 9 in Huntington Beach for public comment. The PMPD is scheduled for the April 12 Energy Commission business meeting, where the five commissioners will decide to accept, reject or modify the committee's recommendations.

Details on participating in the committee conference and business meeting can be viewed in the public notice.

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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.