CPCU approves plans to convert Tracy power plant to a flexible combined cycle facility

Source: GWF Energy LLC

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made decisions in two separate proceedings that allow California-based GWF Energy LLC to move forward with plans to convert its Tracy Peaker Plant to a 314 MW flexible, combined cycle facility — increasing energy efficiency, improving air quality and playing an important role in integrating California’s increasing renewable generation. 

“This project reflects GWF’s commitment to meet California’s future energy needs with reliable, flexible, clean and cost-effective electricity,” said Duane Nelsen, President and CEO of GWF Energy LLC. “We made a conscious decision to invest in state-of-the-art technologies that not only increase efficiency and reduce hourly NOx emissions by 60%, but also use significantly less water and provide $319,000 for locally-specific air quality improvement projects.” 

The natural gas fired facility will implement a new dry cooling technology that uses 97% percent less water than conventional water cooling systems — preserving approximately 2,300 acre-feet/year of fresh water for other local uses.

“We were honored to have had so many local community leaders write letters of support and testify on our behalf at the California Public Utilities Commission — including Congressman Jerry McNerney, Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, San Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas, the Tracy City Council — represented by City Manager Leon Churchill, Assistant City Manager Maria Hurtado and Councilmember Evelyn Tolbert — and the Building Trades Council of San Joaquin County, represented by Tony Bertolucci,” said Nelsen. “This project will be of tremendous benefit to the local community, and we’re glad they agree.” 

“In addition to the gains in efficiency and air emissions improvements, we’re also excited about the many economic benefits this ‘shovel ready’ project offers — including new employment opportunities, increased tax revenues, and a boost to the economy through the purchase of materials and services,” said Nelsen. In addition to creating 400 construction jobs, the facility will provide 20 full time jobs when complete and will contribute nearly $4 million annually in local tax revenue. 

The project is scheduled to begin construction in the 4th quarter of this year and has a projected completion date of Summer 2012. The project previously received the necessary environmental permitting approvals for the conversion from the California Energy Commission on March 24, 2010. 

Since 1989, the GWF family of companies have constructed, owned and operated nine power plants in California with a combined generation capacity of over 500 megawatts.

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