SAN DIEGO, Aug. 7, 2003 -- Officials of Sempra Energy Resources, the power generation subsidiary of Sempra Energy, welcomed approval by the California Energy Commission of the company's planned Palomar Energy project, a state-of-the-art 550-megawatt (MW) power plant in Escondido, Calif.
The estimated two-year Palomar Energy construction project will commence when power contracts for the project have been signed. Sempra Energy Resources currently is seeking contracts that would support advancement of the project. The clean, efficient natural gas power project will be built on a 20-acre site within a planned 186-acre business park in the City of Escondido.
"The California Energy Commission's approval of Palomar Energy is a major step forward for this project," said Michael R. Niggli, president of Sempra Energy Resources. "Combined with a high-tech business park, Palomar Energy is an outstanding project for the San Diego region because it offers a new, reliable source of electricity and should help contribute to the creation of thousands of new jobs in the local community. It will be at least 45 percent more efficient than existing fossil fuel plants in San Diego County, making optimal use of the natural gas, reclaimed water and other resources required to operate the facility."
The City of Escondido approved plans for the Escondido Research and Technology Center Nov. 25, 2002. The business park is expected to create about 4,000 new jobs in the community. Sempra Energy Resources and JRMC Real Estate of Escondido are cooperating in the development of the proposed business park. Sempra Energy Resources will own and operate the power plant. JRMC will own the business park.
"The City of Escondido has long awaited the development of a high-tech business park on the property that includes the power plant site," said Joseph H. Rowley, project developer for Sempra Energy Resources and a resident of Escondido. "As anchor tenant, Palomar Energy will provide the boost needed for this community objective to be realized."
Earlier this year the California Energy Commission held a series of local public hearings on the power plant that examined aesthetics, air emissions, water use, noise, construction and other issues of interest to the community.
When completed, Palomar Energy will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of about 550,000 residents. It will be located west of Interstate 15 and south of Highway 78, near the intersection of Vineyard Avenue and Enterprise Street.
Palomar Energy will create 300 jobs over two years during construction and about 20 full-time jobs once the power plant begins operation. The local community is expected to receive up to $3.8 million in annual revenues from Palomar Energy, including an annual payment of $200,000 for 20 years to the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, an annual property tax local allocation of about $500,000, and estimated annual natural gas franchise fees and reclaimed water revenues of up to $1.3 million and $1.8 million, respectively.
All of the power plant's cooling water needs will be met by purchasing about 3 million gallons per day of reclaimed water from the City of Escondido's nearby Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility. The plant will rank as the water treatment facility's largest customer.
Sempra Energy Resources -- a subsidiary of Sempra Energy Global Enterprises, the umbrella for Sempra Energy's growth businesses -- develops and operates power plants and energy infrastructure for the competitive market.
Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE - News), based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2002 revenues of $6 billion. The Sempra Energy companies' 12,000 employees serve more than 9 million customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and Asia.
Sempra Energy Resources is not the same company as the utility, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and the California Public Utilities Commission does not regulate the terms of Sempra Energy Resources' products and services.