Combined Cycle

Calif. speeds along review of planned power plants

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 26, 2000—California regulators, predicting another summer of possible power shortages, said Thursday they will rush their review of at least one and perhaps up to five new power plants proposed for construction in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a report from Reuters News.

If they are approved, the plants would start service by August, 2001, a spokeswoman at the California Energy Commission (CEC) said.

The CEC’s commissioners voted Wednesday to perform a “fast track”‘ licensing review for El Paso Merchant Energy’s United Golden Gate Power Project, a 51 MW peaking unit proposed for a site near San Francisco International Airport.

El Paso Merchant, a unit of El Paso Energy Corp., is also expected to file a separate license in November with the CEC for a 570 MW combined cycle plant proposed for the same location, the CEC spokeswoman said.

Independent power producer Calpine Corp., based in San Jose, Calif., also sent proposals Wednesday to the CEC to build four gas-fired peaking units in the Bay Area with a total generation capacity around 365 MW.

The CEC is expected to vote Oct. 31 at a special meeting on whether to include Calpine’s proposed units in an expedited licensing process, the CEC spokeswoman said.

Close to 2,050 MW of new power generation are expected to come into service by 2001, according to the CEC.