Sunrise Power Plant Project

Docket Number:

98-AFC-04 (Application For Certification)
98-AFC-4C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: Single Cycle Peaker - June 27, 2001.
Amendment Phase II - June 1, 2003.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on December 6, 2000. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Michal C. Moore, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Robert Pernell, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Gary Fay

Key Dates

  • December 21, 1998 -- Application For Certification (AFC) filed by project proponent.
  • February 17, 1999 -- Energy Commission determines that the AFC is data adequate.
  • August 2, 1999 -- Energy Commission issues its Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA).
  • August 28, 1999 -- San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District Issues its Preliminary Determination of Compliance (PDOC).
  • October 1, 1999 -- Energy Commission issues Part I of its Final Staff Assessment (FSA).
  • May 8, 2000 -- Presiding Member's Proposed decision is released.
  • September 12, 2000 -- Applicant files amendment changing the project from a facility to a simple-cycle, peaking facility.
  • October 26, 2000 -- Energy Commission staff files Supplemental Final Staff Assessment for the Sunrise Power Project (Sunrise).
  • November 20, 2000 - Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD) issued.
  • December 6, 2000 - The Energy Commission certifies the Sunrise Power Project.
  • May 14, 2001 - Amendment to Commission decision filed to modify (aka Phase II or "Sunrise II") into a combined cycle power plant, adding approximately 265 megawatts.
  • June 26, 2001 - Single cycle peaker portion of project goes on line.
  • November 19, 2001 - Commission approves modification to add Phase II combined cycle power plant.


The Sunrise Power Project is located approximately 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield, and one mile southwest of the intersection of State Route 33 and Shale Road in Kern County. The original Sunrise Cogeneration and Power Project application for certification was filed with the Energy Commission in 1998 for a cogeneration facility that would generate electricity for sale and produce steam for use in the adjacent oilfields in thermally-enhanced oil recovery processes. In September 2000, the applicant modified the cogeneration project to a simple-cycle peaking power project ("Sunrise Power Project") to deliver 320 MW of power for the peak demand of summer 2001. The simple-cycle Sunrise Power Project was certified on December 6, 2000, construction began on December 7, 2000, and commercial operation commenced on June 26, 2001.

On May 14, 2001, the Sunrise Power Company filed a petition to convert the simple-cycle power plant to a combined-cycle power plant (aka "Sunrise II"). This expansion will add approximately 265 MW of generating capacity, resulting in a nominal 585 MW combined-cycle power plant. In accordance with Executive Order D-25-01 of the Governor of the State of California, dated February 8, 2001, the petition was processed as a project amendment rather than as a new application for certification. The Energy Commission approved the petition on November 19, 2001, and construction on Sunrise II commenced on December 21, 2001.

Sunrise II will include two duct-fired heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), one 265 MW steam turbine generator (STG), an anhydrous ammonia selective catalytic reduction system to control air emissions, an evaporative condenser cooling tower system, a 15.5 mile water line, an expansion of the existing power plant site, and injection wells for wastewater disposal. The conversion to combined-cycle operations will provide baseload and peaking power up to 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Both generating and fuel efficiencies will be substantially improved through combined-cycle operations by more complete utilization of the combustion turbine generator's hot gases to generate steam in the HRSGs for added steam cycles and increased electrical output from the new STG.

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.

For Questions About This Siting Case Contact:

For Questions About Participation In Siting Cases Contact:

Public Adviser
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989