Valero Cogeneration Power Plant Project

Docket Number:

01-AFC-05 (Application For Certification)
01-AFC-5C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: October 18, 2002.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on October 31, 2001. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Robert A. Laurie, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Garret Shean

Key Dates


On May 7, 2001, Valero Cogeneration Project (VCP), wholly owned by Valero Refining Company, Benicia CA., filed an Application for Certification (01-AFC-5) seeking approval from the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) a 4-month, expedited review to construct and operate the Valero Cogeneration Project.

The site is located at the existing refinery location in Block 25, Township 3 North, Range 3 West of the Benicia Quadrangle, Solano County, Assessor Lot Number for the site is 90-110-03.

VCP will be a nominal 102 megawatts (MW) cogeneration power plant. The proposed facility will include two combustion turbine generators equipped with water injection to control oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and associated support equipment. Phase 1 of the project, a 51 MW generator, went on line commercially on October 18, 2002. Construction of Phase 2 of the project, the final 51 MW generator, is on hold with 37 percent of the project completed (as of September 2003).

The project will be visually compatible with the existing refining equipment in the adjacent areas. The power plant area will be accessed via the existing roads and streets within the refinery. The power plant will consist of a two GE gas turbines (LM6000 - PC Sprint) with chillers, fuel gas compression facilities, power generators, heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), SCRs for emission control, and associated instrumentation, piping, and wiring. The produced power will be conveyed about 2,000 feet through underground cables to the new Valero switch house within the refinery at a voltage of 12 kilovolt. As a result of this project, the refinery will not need power currently provided from the California electrical grid.

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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