For Immediate Release: October 8, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989


Review starts for three planned power plants

SACRAMENTO -- The California Energy Commission has started the review of three planned power plants.

The Commission, by a unanimous vote determined today that the application for certification (AFC) for each of these proposed facilities is complete or data adequate:

--the 550-megawatt natural gas-fired Mirant Willow Pass Generating Station in Pittsburg, Contra Costa County;

--the Palmdale Hybrid Power Project in the city of Palmdale in Los Angeles County with an output of 617-MW (10 percent of which is solar thermal); and

--the 750-MW Stirling Energy Systems Solar Two Project on mostly federal lands in Imperial County. The Energy Commission works closely with the Bureau of Land Management in reviewing solar applications on federal lands. The SES Solar Two Project requires both federal and state approval.

Data adequacy means the applicants have submitted enough information for the Commission to start the yearlong review of each project's AFC.

The Commission has named Commissioner Karen Douglas to lead the review of the Willow Pass project. Commission Vice Chairman James Boyd is the associate member.

Commission Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel has been named Committee leader for the Palmdale project. Commissioner Art Rosenfeld is the associate member.

Commissioner Jeffrey Byron heads the review of the SES Solar Two Project, with Chairman Pfannenstiel as the second member.

The committees will ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. The Energy Commission is responsible for reviewing thermal electric power plants, 50 MW and greater in California. As lead agency under CEQA, the Commission through its facility certification process, examines public health and safety, environmental impacts, and engineering aspects of proposed power plants and all related facilities, such as electric transmission lines and natural gas and water pipelines.

Proposed for construction in Pittsburg by Mirant Willow Pass LLC , the Willow Pass Generating Station will be a dry-cooled, natural gas fired-facility comprised of two generating units. If approved, construction on the plant would occur over a 34-month period. Commercial operation is planned for the summer of 2012. More information on Willow Pass is available at:

The Palmdale project, owned by the City of Palmdale, consists of a hybrid of natural gas-fired combined cycle generating facility integrated with solar thermal generating equipment to be developed on about 377 acres in the city's northern portion. If approved by the Commission, the project will start construction towards a planned commercial operation in the summer of 2013. Additional information on the Palmdale hybrid project is at:

The proposed SES Solar Two project owned by Stirling Energy Systems would include 30,000 25-kilowatt solar dish Stirling systems (referred to as SunCatchers), associated equipment and systems, and support infrastructure. The 6,500 acre project site is mostly on federal Bureau of Land Management Land near Ocotillo Wells in Imperial County. If approved, construction on the plant is targeted to begin either late 2009 or early 2010. Although construction would take approximately 40 months to complete, renewable power would be available to the grid as each 60-unit group is completed. For additional details on the SES Solar Two project, click on:

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