Walnut Creek Energy Park
Power Plant Licensing Case

Docket Number:

05-AFC-02 (Application For Certification)
05-AFC-2C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase. Operational: May 1, 2013.

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application for Certification on February 27, 2008. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Committee that oversaw Original Licensing Proceeding:

Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Chairman, Presiding Member

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Associate Member


Hearing Officer: TBA

Key Dates


On November 22, 2005, Walnut Creek Energy, LLC (WCE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, submitted an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate a nominal 500 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle power plant, the Walnut Creek Energy Park (WCEP), in the City of Industry.

The proposed WCEP site is located at 911 Bixby Drive in the City of Industry, Los Angeles County, in an area zoned for industrial uses. The project site is an 11.48-acre parcel currently owned by the Industry Urban Development Agency (Development Agency). A large, commercial distribution warehouse currently occupies the parcel. The Development Agency has designated the parcel for redevelopment and intends to demolish the warehouse in the near future. NRG has entered into a lease option agreement for the project site. The lease option will be assigned to and exercised by WCE, which will take possession of the site from the Development Agency after the warehouse has been demolished. The City of Industry is in the process of reviewing a Negative Declaration, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), for the demolition.

The proposed generating facility would consist of five General Electric LMS100 natural gas-fired turbine-generators and associated equipment. The WCEP 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. The project is expected to have an annual capacity factor of approximately 20 to 40 percent, depending on weather-related customer demand, load growth, hydroelectric supplies, generating unit retirements and replacements, the level of generating unit and transmission outages, and other factors.

The WCEP would use reclaimed water for cooling and other power plant processes and for site landscape irrigation. The Rowland Water District would supply, on average, approximately 827 acre-feet per year of reclaimed water for the project from the San Jose Creek Wastewater Reclamation Plant. This water would be supplied to the WCEP site via an approximately 30-foot-long pipeline connection to an existing reclaimed water pipeline at the corner of Bixby Drive and Chestnut Street. Potable water for drinking and sanitary uses would be provided through a 30-foot-long pipeline connection to a Rowland Water District water main in Bixby Drive, immediately adjacent to the project site. Sanitary wastewater would be discharged to a Los Angeles County Sanitation District trunk sewer line that runs in a utility easement within the project site. Process wastewater would also be discharged to this sanitary sewer line through a connecting pipeline to the trunk sewer line.

The WCEP would be connected to Southern California Edison's (SCE) electrical system at the existing Walnut Substation, which is located approximately 250 feet south of the project site. This connection would require 600 feet of 230-kilovolt transmission line and two transmission towers to be located adjacent to the substation within SCE's transmission line corridor.

Natural gas would be supplied to the WCEP via a pipeline connection to a Southern California Gas Company high-pressure gas pipeline that runs in a utility easement within the WCEP parcel.

WCEP received a license from the Energy Commission in February 2008, construction of the project began in the spring of 2011, and full-scale commercial operation is anticipated by May 2013.

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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