[ California energy picture montage ]



Calpine Corporation and Bechtel Enterprises, Inc

General Description

Metcalf Energy Center is a proposal for a nominal 600 megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant.

For a complete Project Description, please download the Acrobat PDF file listed on the Documents Page.

Project Location

The proposed site for the Metcalf Energy Center lies at the southern base of Tulare Hill in northern Coyote Valley of South San Jose to the west of Monterey Highway just south of the Metcalf Road intersection. The power plant will occupy approximately 20 acres (10 acres in Santa Clara County, 10 acres in the City of San Jose) of the project's 136 acres. The site is bordered by Fisher Creek to the north and west and the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way to the east. Blanchard Road is to the south.

Project Cost

Calpine/Bechtel estimates the capital costs of the Metcalf Energy Center to be $300-$400 million. The applicant expects to employ a peak construction workforce of 400 over a two year period and a permanent workforce of 24 for plant operation. Construction payroll costs are estimated to be $40.8 million while annual operations payroll is expected to be $1 million.

Permitting Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency responsible for permitting the proposed power project. The Energy Commission will carefully examine public health and safety, environmental impacts and engineering aspects of the proposed power project including all related facilities (transmission lines, water lines, natural gas pipelines, and other ancillary structures). The Energy Commission's responsibilities are similar to those of a lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act.

The permitting process is open to the public and includes numerous opportunities for the public and other interested parties to provide input. The Energy Commission will be working in close consultation with local, state and federal agencies to coordinate analysis of the potential impacts of the project.

The City of San Jose will conduct an entitlement proceeding simultaneous to the Energy Commission's review of the proposed Metcalf Energy Center. The applicants are requesting that the City annex the site, amend the San Jose General Plan and rezone the site from agricultural use/campus industrial to public/quasi-public. The city will use the Energy Commission's environmental document to make its decision.

The Energy Commission's review of the project was initiated on April 30, 1999 when Calpine/Bechtel submitted their Application for Certification. On June 23, 1999, the Energy Commission deemed the application data adequate.

On October 1, October 15 and February 15, 2000, Calpine/Bechtol filed Supplements A, B and C respectively amending its original proposal in response to input from the public and the City of San Jose. The Final Staff Assessment was released on October 10, 2000.

Evidentiary hearing were completed January through March, 2001.

Construction Schedule

If approved by the Energy Commission, Calpine/Bechtel expects to begin construction of the project by the Fall of 2001 and complete it by the Fall of 2003.

Operation Schedule

The applicant anticipates commercial operation of the power plant by the end of 2003 after a short testing and start-up period.

Electricity Sales

Electrical energy produced by the proposed facility will be sold in California's newly deregulated electricity market.

Facility Operation

Calpine/Bechtel expects a 92 to 98 percent annual availability of the power plant. Because of changes in the electricity market due the recent deregulation, an exact operational profile for the power plant is not yet defined

Project Design

The power plant design consists of two combustion turbines capable of generating a maximum of 200 MW, equipped with steam injection power augmentation capabilities; two heat recovery steam turbine generators (HRSG) with duct burners; a single condensing steam turbine generator capable of generating a maximum of 235 MW; a mechanical draft (wet/dry) plume-abated cooling tower; and a 230-kilovolt (kV) switching station. Natural gas will be used as the fuel for this equipment. An associated 900-foot 2-lane road will allow access to the site from Monterey Highway.

Electric Transmission Line

Approximately 240 feet of new 230 kV transmission line will be needed to connect the switchstation to PG&E's existing transmission lines feeding into PG&E's existing Metcalf substation.

Natural Gas Fuel Line

Approximately 1 mile of new natural gas pipeline will be constructed to supply fuel to the power plant from PG&E's main gas line.

Emission Controls

Emissions are controlled at the combustion turbine generators by dry, low NOx combustors. Overall NOx emissions will be controlled to 2.0 parts per million by volume, dry basis corrected to 15 percent oxygen by a combination of the combustors and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems in the HRSGs. The SCR will use anhydrous ammonia and a precious metal catalyst to convert NOx molecules into nitrogen and water. Carbon monoxide (CO) will be controlled to 10 parts per million by volume, dry (ppmvd) at 15 percent oxygen in the CTG combustors. A maximum of 13.3 ppmvd will occur during duct firing and 24.3 ppmvd during power augmentation.

Water Supply and Discharge

The proposed power plant expects to use approximately 2.9 to 5.8 million gallons a day of recycled water for cooling purposes from the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant as part of the South Bay Water Recycling Program. This will necessitate the construction of a new 10 mile recycled water supply and industrial wastewater discharge lines. Back-up water will be supplied either by the San Jose Municipal Water System or from wells located on site or one mile south of the project. Domestic water will be supplied via a new 1.25 mile long pipeline from the plant to San Jose Municipal Water System pipeline along Santa Teresa Boulevard.

Web Site


Santa Teresa
Citizen Action Group


Return to Metcalf Energy Center Main Page.

| Homepage | Commission Info | Site Index | Search Site | Links |

E-mail us about our Web Site at: energia@energy.ca.gov
"Energia" means ENERGY in Greek and Latin.

Energy used to create this page was produced by California's electricity providers...
the most diverse in the world.

Page Updated: May 3, 2001