19 September 2007 — NRG Energy, Inc. told the California Energy Commission it wants to modernize the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, Calif., the first phase of a plan to replace the existing plant with a cleaner and more efficient facility to be located on site, adjacent to the current facility.
The project, to be known as the Carlsbad Energy Center, will include the retirement of three older generating units while increasing the net output of the facility by 200 MW.
Built in 1954, Encina has five steam generating units and one peaking combustion turbine. The proposed modernization would replace the three oldest steam generating units. Generating units 4 and 5, built in 1974, will continue to operate.
The plant will use air-cooled condensers instead of ocean water for its cooling requirements, reducing the impact on the adjacent Agua Hedionda Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. The new units are 30 percent more fuel efficient than the steam generating units. NRG said emissions from the new plant will be “well below” California’s newly imposed greenhouse gas standard.
Pending issuance of necessary permits and contingent up securing a long term sales contract for the power, NRG anticipates a 19-month construction schedule to complete the project, with the goal of bringing the facility online by summer 2010.