Starwood Power-Midway Peaking
Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

06-AFC-10 (Application For Certification)
06-AFC-10C (Compliance Proceeding)


Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: May 1, 2009

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on January 16, 2008. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.



Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Jeffrey Byron, Commissioner, Presiding Member

John L. Geesman, Commissioner, Associate Member

 

Hearing Officer: Garret Shean



Key Dates


GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

On November 17, 2006, Starwood Power-Midway, LLC, submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate a simple-cycle (peaking) power plant, the Starwood-Midway (Midway), in an unincorporated area of western Fresno County.

The proposed Midway project would be a simple-cycle power plant and will have a nominal electrical output of 120 megawatts (MW). The proposed Midway project is designed as a peaking facility to meet electric generation load during periods of high demand, which generally occur during daytime hours, and more frequently during the summer than other portions of the year. It is expected to have an annual capacity factor of no higher than 46 percent, depending on weather and customer demand, load growth, hydroelectric supplies, generation retirements and replacements, the level of generating unit and transmission outages, and other factors. The generating facility will include two Pratt & Whitney FT8-3 SwiftPac Combustion Turbine Generators (CTGs), a CTG Main Step-up transformer (13.8/115 kV), air emissions control equipment, an aqueous ammonia storage tank, natural gas fuel system, compressed air system, waste water system, site stormwater drainage system, and a lined evaporation pond.

The proposed Midway plant site, an approximate 5.6 acres of land located within a 128-acre parcel (Assessors Parcel Number 027-060-78S), is located approximately 1 mile southwest of the intersection of West Panoche Road and South Fairfax Avenue, and approximately 2 miles northeast of the intersection of West Panoche Road and Interstate 5 (I-5), in an unincorporated area of western Fresno County. This parcel is zoned AE-20 (agriculture use) and is located in a predominantly agricultural area. The 128-acre parcel is currently subject to a Williamson Act agricultural land conservation contract which will be revised through a partial cancellation process by Fresno County. The proposed Midway project is consistent with Fresno County's General Plan and zoning designations for the site, with the approval of an Unclassified Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The existing parcel is currently occupied by CalPeak Power and used as a storage yard containing several large pieces of equipment and items used at the CalPeak Panoche peaking power plant located directly southwest and adjacent to the proposed Midway plant site. The proposed Midway plant site is owned by Starwood Power-Midway, LLC. There will also be a temporary construction laydown and parking area within the site perimeter.

The proposed Midway project will interconnect to the 115 kV bus at PG&E's Panoche Substation via the existing CalPeak Panoche generator tie line. The tie line connecting the existing CalPeak Panoche Plant to PG&E's system is already sized to carry the output of the proposed Midway plant. A proposed 300-foot generator tap line will originate from the proposed Midway generator step-up transformer near the western perimeter of the proposed Midway plant site, exit from the northwest edge of the proposed Midway plant site and travel west into the existing CalPeak Panoche tie line to the Panoche Substation.

Natural gas will be delivered to the proposed Midway plant site from a connection to a PG&E trunk line, located immediately north of the proposed Midway plant site. PG&E will tap the 6-inch natural gas service line serving the existing CalPeak Panoche Peaker facility approximately 25 feet upstream of the existing meter set, and install 50 feet of 6-inch steel pipeline to a new 6-inch turbine meter set adjacent to CalPeak Power's existing meter set. Approximately 600 feet of natural gas line would be constructed along the western perimeter of the proposed Midway plant site.

On an annual basis, the Midway facility is expected to consume approximately 136 acre-feet/year. Several water supply options are being considered, including low quality groundwater from an existing well, wastewater from nearby agricultural irrigation activities, and a new well to tap deeper groundwater supplies. Water will be delivered to the proposed plant site from a connection to the adjacent and existing CalPeak Panoche Peaker Plant well.

Sanitary waste from portable toilets provided at the proposed Midway plant site during the facility's construction phase would be hauled off-site for disposal. Process wastewater would be conveyed by gravity to an evaporation pond on the east side of the proposed Midway plant site. Residue would be disposed of in a landfill system.

Air emissions from the proposed facility would be controlled using best available control technology applied to each engine's exhaust. Each of the two FT8-3 SwiftPac CTGs will be equipped with water injection to the combustors for reducing production of NOx, a selective catalytic reduction system with a concentration of ammonia injection not to exceed 20 percent to further reduce NOx emissions and an oxidation catalyst to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Final permitting by the Energy Commission would reflect conformance with rules and regulations of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and include the issuance of a Determination of Compliance from the District.

Assuming the Starwood-Midway facility receives a license from the Energy Commission by January 2008 construction of the project would begin construction in June 2008 and be in commercial operation by May 2009.


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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