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AES Huntington Beach offers to reactivate retired units to supplement California power

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 12, 2001–AES Huntington Beach submitted a proposal to the California Energy Commission to restart two retired gas-fired units that will add an additional 450 megawatts of generation in the electricity-strapped state of California as early as June 1, 2001, if regulatory approvals can be secured promptly.

Units 3 & 4 at the company’s Huntington Beach generation facility were retired in 1995 prior to AES ownership of the facility. The Huntington Beach Restart Project will upgrade and improve the reliability of old boilers, replace obsolete controls, and install state-of-the-art emissions controls.

Ed Blackford, President and Site Manager for AES Huntington Beach, stated, “The California Independent System Operator predicts a 3,000 MW increase in electricity demand for the summer of 2001. There is currently little new generation in the queue that will be coming online in time to meet this need, which is why we believe this project is of tremendous importance to the state as well as the region. We are attempting to answer the Governor’s call to address the electricity crisis with the refurbishment of Units 3 & 4. But AES needs tremendous support from State and local officials to make this happen.”

In order to have the units ready for operation on June 1, the permitting process needs to be complete before March 1. “This is an exceptionally aggressive timeline for permit approval. We do believe, however, the critical demand for electricity in California, coupled with the fact that we are simply upgrading and restarting an existing generation site, makes this project the `poster child’ for fast track action,” said Blackford.

AES is prepared to commit significant funds to acquire critical components as well as secure the personnel necessary to meet the aggressive three-month construction schedule upon completion of the permitting process.

“Our goal can only be accomplished with support from all stakeholders – including the city and residents of Huntington Beach,” concluded Blackford. “AES is confident that all parties can come together to ensure that this project is completed in a timely and proper fashion to help the consumers of California during a critical time.”

AES is a global power company comprised of competitive generation, distribution and retail supply businesses in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Georgia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela.

The company’s generating assets include interests in one hundred and fifty four facilities totaling over 52 gigawatts of capacity. AES’s electricity distribution network has over 920,000 km of conductor and associated rights of way and sells over 126,000 gigawatt hours per year to over 17 million end-use customers.

In addition, through its various retail electricity supply businesses, the company sells electricity to over 154,000 end-use customers.

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