For Immediate Release: June 10, 2015
Media Contact: Michael A. Ward - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Approves 'Data Adequacy' of Puente Power Project Application

SACRAMENTO - An application for certification for the Puente Power Project (PPP) was adopted as data adequate by the California Energy Commission during its business meeting today, beginning the 12-month licensing review process for the proposed 262-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired power plant in Oxnard.

The application was submitted in April by NRG Oxnard Energy Center LLC, and was reviewed by Energy Commission staff to determine if information on 23 technical areas - from air quality to public health to worker safety - met application requirements. Staff’s recommendation was adopted by the Energy Commission.

Staff now begins the discovery and analysis phase of the licensing process, and a committee of two commissioners - Janea Scott, presiding member and Karen Douglas, associate member - has been assigned to oversee proceedings. The committee will hold an informational hearing and visit to the site area within 45 days.

If approved, the PPP will be constructed on a 3-acre portion of the existing 36-acre 560-MW Mandalay Generating Station (MGS) site in Oxnard. The new plant will replace MGS units 1 and 2 scheduled for retirement.

The PPP will use dry-cooling technology as opposed to once-through cooling used by MGS units 1 and 2. Once-through cooling, which uses ocean water, is being phased out at power plants in the state because of its impacts on marine life.

Construction is expected to take 21 months and cost more than $235 million, according to NRG Energy. About 50 workers will be employed during plant construction with a peak of about 90 at certain times. The company said 17 full-time workers will be employed once the plant is finished.

The Energy Commission licenses thermal electric power plants in California that are 50 megawatts or greater. Thermal power plants use a heat source such as natural gas, oil, coal, geothermal, nuclear or solar thermal to produce electricity.

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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.

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