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Border Project Description

Docket Number: 01-EP-14


CalPeak Power - Border, LLC (CalPeak) proposes to construct a simple-cycle peaking electric generation facility consisting of one FT8 Pratt & Whitney Twinpac, with two gas turbine engines and one 49.5 megawatt (MW) generator. The Project is called the CalPeak Power - Border, LLC Project (Project) and will be located in the Otay Mesa area of the City of San Diego, San Diego County, California (City) (see Figures 1, 2 and 3).


CalPeak Power - Border, LLC
Charles C. Hinckley
Project Director
701 B Street, Suite 340
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-1212 - phone
(619) 239-1307 - fax


The Project involves the construction and operation of an electrical generation facility, which will have a 49.5-megawatt (MW) nominal rating at ISO conditions. The Project is intended to respond to the state of California initiative to bring additional power resources on-line by no later than September 30, 2001.

CalPeak has a verbal agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for a power purchase agreement for the power from this Project under a minimum 10-year agreement. The DWR and the state of California consider it essential that the state's predicted power shortfall be alleviated by additional generation resources. The power purchase agreement between CalPeak and DWR for the power from the Project is expected to be finalized in June 2001. The contact is Tera Nolan, of Navigant: (916) 852-1300.

SDG&E will supply the facility with low-sulfur (low-polluting) natural gas, thereby minimizing the potential for sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) or particulate matter (PM10 ) emissions. In addition, the facility will utilize Best Available Control Technology (BACT) based on consideration of the most stringent federal, state and local requirements for simple cycle gas turbines. These include dry, low-NOx (DLN) gas combustors and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) for reduction of oxides of nitrogen (NOx ) emissions, and an oxidation catalyst to control emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The California Air Resources Board (ARB) defines BACT for simple-cycle "peaker" sites as 5 parts per million (ppm) NOx , 6 ppm CO and 2 ppm VOC. The controls placed on the Project will allow it to operate at 3 ppm NOx , 6 ppm CO and 2 ppm VOCs. As a result, NOx emissions will be below the current BACT standard by 2 ppm. Emissions of CO and VOC will be in compliance with the current BACT standard.

A reliable and proven technology to reduce NOx emissions is SCR, which uses a solution of 19.5 percent ammonia and water (aqueous ammonia) as the reagent. The ammonia vapor (NH3) is injected into the flue gases, which then pass through a catalyst material, reducing the NOx to harmless nitrogen and water. The aqueous ammonia will be stored in an outdoor, horizontally mounted, single-walled storage tank capable of holding up to 12,000 gallons. Ammonia detectors with automatic alarms will be installed. In addition, the tank will be surrounded by a concrete containment area constructed at or below grade, capable of containing 110 percent of the capacity of the tank.

Aqueous ammonia will be delivered to the site by a local ammonia supply company. Aqueous ammonia is expected to be delivered once every 2 weeks in 6,000 gallon capacity California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)-certified trucks that are designated for ammonia transport and operated by a trained driver. The truck will travel along public roads permitted for hazardous materials transport. Specifically, it is anticipated that trucks will utilize Interstate 5 or Interstate 805 to Route 905, then travel east on Route 905 to Otay Mesa Road to Sanyo Avenue. Trucks will turn right (south) on Sanyo Avenue, proceed to the Project access road and turn right onto the Project site. The local roadway system is shown in Figure 4. Once onsite, the truck will be parked in a delivery area sloped toward the containment area such that any spill occurring during unloading will drain into the concrete containment area surrounding the ammonia tank.

A CalPeak operator will be present during aqueous ammonia deliveries. The aqueous ammonia solution handling system, as well as its operation and maintenance, will meet requirements of the California Accident Release Prevention (CalARP) regulations as administered by the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS). CalPeak is also working with the DEHS to prepare a required Risk Management Plan (RMP). The RMP will be approved and in effect prior to bringing aqueous ammonia onsite. The aqueous ammonia solution handling equipment has been designed according to the latest manufacturing codes for plant equipment.

Project Equipment and Operation

The equipment design includes a natural gas-fired combustion turbine generator (CTG) equipped with state-of-the-art air pollution control and noise abatement features. Specifically, the CTG set will be an FT8 Pratt & Whitney Twinpac. The Twinpac consists of three primary units: the gas turbine unit, the generator unit, and the electric/control unit (Figure 5). The Twinpac turbine and generator units consist of two opposed gas turbines directly connected through a diaphragm that is coupled to a single double-ended electric generator. The Twinpac offers flexibility in operation, providing the ability to operate one gas turbine while the other is shut down. This results in near full-load efficiency, even at half-load power. The lube oil system and generator will be air-cooled. The turbine/generator and electrical control units will be housed in all-weather steel enclosures that include lighting and electrical services. Fire protection equipment will be provided in the gas turbine enclosure.

The plant will be unstaffed and operated remotely. Plant operators will conduct periodic visits about twice a week. The facility will be configured in simple-cycle mode so that generated energy can be dispatched quickly to meet energy demand. The facility will be monitored on a 24-hour basis to respond quickly to any operational issues. Given the current energy crisis, the plant may operate up to 24 hours per day. The plant facility will operate most summer days and less frequently in winter. Hours of operation are expected to decrease as larger, regional plants are constructed in the coming years.