Donald Von Raesfeld
Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

02-AFC-03 (Application For Certification)
02-AFC-3C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: March 24, 2005

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on September 9, 2003. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

John L. Geesman, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Ph.D., Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: Gary Fay

Key Dates

  • October 7, 2002 - Applicant files Application For Certification (AFC).
  • November 20, 2002 - Energy Commission finds the AFC to be data adequate, and eligible for "Fast Track" six-month review process.
  • March 26, 2003 - Commission staff issue their Staff Assessment (PART 1).
  • August 8, 2003 - Project Committee issues its Presiding Member's Proposed Decision.
  • September 9, 2003 - Energy Commission approves project.
  • March, 2005 - Project name changed from Pico Power Project to Donald Von Raesfeld Power Plant.
  • March 24, 2005 - Power plant on line and producing power.


The Donald Von Raesfeld Power Plant Project is a 147 megawatt power plant to be built by the City of Santa Clara, Silicon Valley Power (SVOP) The proposed project would be located west of the intersection of Lafayette Street and Duane Avenue and immediately north of SVP's Kifer Receiving Station in the City of Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California. The power plant would will occupy approximately 2.86 acres.

The proposed project would be dedicated to supplying power to SVP's native load customers. The Von Raesfeld Power Plant would provide approximately 25 percent of SVP's generation resources and will help SVP meet expected load growth by replacing the power obtained through a longterm sales agreement that will expire in 2005, just after the plant would come on line.

The natural gas-fired, combined cycle, wet-cooled generating facility would consist of two General Electric LM-6000PC Sprint combustion turbine-generators (CTGs), a single condensing steam turbine generator (STG), a deaerating surface condenser, a mechanical draft plume-abated cooling tower; and associated support equipment. The CTGs are equipped with standard combustors, air inlet chilling, and heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) with duct burners. Total generating capacity would be 122 MW, with the ability to peak fire to 147 MW.

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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