CEC releases analysis for proposed 300 MW gas-fired Pio Pico power project

Source: California Energy Commission 

The California Energy Commission staff today released its analysis of the proposed natural gas-fired Pio Pico Energy Center project. 

In the preliminary staff assessment (PSA), staff concluded that with the implementation of staff's recommended mitigation measures described in the conditions of certification, the proposed 300-megawatt peaker power plant would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards except in the area of biological resources. Staff does not have enough information to determine if the applicant's proposed mitigation measures will reduce the impacts to biological resources to less than a significant level, according to the PSA. 

The PSA serves as the staff's initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, public health and safety impacts of the proposed facility. The PSA is not a decision nor does it contain final findings of the Commission related to the environmental impacts or the project's compliance with local, state and federal legal requirements.

After a public comment period on the PSA, staff will release a final staff assessment (FSA). The FSA will serve as staff's testimony at evidentiary hearings that the committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed project will hold. The committee will issue a proposed decision based on evidence presented at the hearings. The proposed decision will be presented to the full Commission for a final decision. 

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Pio Pico Energy Center, LLC, is the applicant for the project, which is a natural gas-fired, simple-cycle electrical generating facility. The proposed project site is located at the intersection of Alta Road and Calzada de la Fuente in an unincorporated area of southwestern San Diego County. The 10-acre site is next to the Otay Mesa Generating Project. 

The capital cost for the Pio Pico Energy Center project is estimated to be $300 million. If the project is approved, construction would last 16 months with the work starting February 2013 and commercial operation by May 2014. The project would require an average of 148 workers during construction, with a peak of 284 needed during the eighth month. Twelve employees would be needed when the project is operating, according to the applicant. 

The PSA is available at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/piopico/documents/index.html

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