La Paloma Generating Power Plant Project

Docket Number:

98-AFC-2 (Application For Certification)
98-AFC-2C (Compliance Proceeding)
98-SIT-01 (NOI Exemption Proceeding) - Closed as of 11/10/99

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational:
Units 1: January 10, 2003
Units 2: January 10, 2003
Units 3: March 7, 2003
Units 4: March 7, 2003

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on October 6, 1999. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Robert A. Laurie, Commissioner, Presiding Member

David A. Rohy, Ph.D., Vice Chair, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Stanley Valkosky

Key Dates

  • June 11, 1998 - La Paloma Generating Company, LLC files a Request for Jurisdictional Determination requesting a exemption from the requirement to file a Notice of Intention (NOI) for construction of a power plant in California.
  • August 12, 1998 - La Paloma Generation Company files Application For Certification.
  • August 12, 1998 - Commission approves the Request for Jurisdictional Determination for an exemption from the requirement to file a Notice of Intention to construct a power plant in California.
  • August 26, 1998 - Commission accepts La Paloma Generation Company's Application For Certification as complete, and assigns a committee to project.
  • September 16, 1998 - The committee conducts a Information and Issues Identification hearing in McKittrick.
  • February 5, 1999 - Preliminary Staff Assessment released.
  • Final Staff Assessment issued on April 7, 1999.
  • Presiding Member's Proposed Decision released, July 20, 1999.
  • October 6, 1999 -- Energy Commission approves La Paloma Generating Project.
  • January 10, 2003 - Units 1 & 2 on line and producing power.
  • March 7, 2003 - Units 3 & 4 on line and producing power.


The project as proposed by La Paloma Generating Company, LLC is a 1,124 megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined cycle facility. The combined cycle power block consists of four combustion turbine generators (CTGs), four heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and exhaust stacks, and two to four steam turbines. The project is expected to cost $500 million.

The La Paloma Generating Project will be located near McKittrick, Kern County, California, approximately 40 miles west of Bakersfield, California. The project site is about 23 acres in size and is situated near the intersection of Reserve Road and Skyline Road.

A proposed new 15 mile bundled 230 kilovolt (kV) double circuit overhead transmission line will be built to interconnect to the east at the Midway Substation near Buttonwillow, California. Natural gas will be supplied by facilities jointly owned by the Kern River and Mojave Pipeline Company. A proposed new 370 feet long pipeline would be constructed across Reserve Road and tapped into a lateral of the system. Potable water would be conveyed by a proposed pipeline from McKittrick.

California Aqueduct water from the West Kern Water District would supply project water via a proposed new eight mile pipeline. Construction will include a turnout from the aqueduct, a pump station and a 700,000 water storage tank. Both the proposed transmission and water supply routes would parallel the Midway-Sunset 230-kV line.

Project Status

La Paloma Generating Company, LLC petitioned the California Energy Commission for an exemption from the Notice of Intention requirements of Public Resource Code section 25502 for the prospective La Paloma Generating Project. That NOI exemption was approved by the Energy Commission on August 12, 1998, and La Paloma Generating Company filed an Application For Certification on the same day.

On April 7, 1999, staff issued its Final Staff Assessment (FSA). The first two days of committee hearings were held in Sacramento on April 21 and 22. At the hearings the applicant requested, and was granted, a two month extension of the decision date to October 20, 1999.

The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District issued its (first) final Determination of Compliance on May 28, 1999, and Energy Commission staff filed revised air quality, biological resources and socioeconomics FSA sections, and a supplemental water resources FSA section, on June 11, 1999.

Hearings resumed on June 29, 1999, and were held at McKittrick School in McKittrick. The Committee then issued its Presiding Members Proposed Decision (PMPD) on July 20, and then held a public Conference to receive comments on the PMPD on August 24, 1999.

Due to changes in the final DOC, the air district issued a revised preliminary DOC on August 12, 1999, and a revised final DOC on September 15, 1999.

The Energy Commission will hold a hearing on the PMPD, and will adopt a decision on Wednesday, October 6, 1999.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

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