For Immediate Release: June 16, 2015
Media Contact: Michael A. Ward - 916-654-4989


Presiding Member's Proposed Decision Released for Carlsbad Energy Center

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission committee conducting proceedings on the Carlsbad Energy Center Project (CECP) issued its Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD) June 9 recommending approval of the two amendments being considered on the project – modifications to the proposed plant's design, construction and operation; and removal of obsolete facilities at the adjoining 95-acre Encina Power Station (EPS) complex.

CECP was originally approved by the Energy Commission in 2012 as a 540-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired combined-cycle power generator. In 2014, Carlsbad Energy Center LLC proposed modifying it to a 632-MW natural gas-fired, simple-cycle power generator.

In the PMPD, the committee – Commissioner Karen Douglas, presiding member and Commissioner Andrew McAllister, associate member – concluded that the benefits of the amended project including facilitating the integration of renewable resources into the energy supply, supporting system reliability, and removing the existing EPS building and 400-foot exhaust stack, outweighed an inconsistency with the city of Carlsbad's 35-foot height limit and a possible inability to fully screen views of the amended power plant from Interstate 5.

The committee's decision was based solely on the facts that were presented during the amendment proceedings.

PMPD is not a final decision on the requested amendments for the CECP. The recommendation will go through a 30-day public comment period, and a committee conference on the proposed decision will be held at 9:30 a.m., June 29, in Sacramento. The committee will consider comments received before the proposed decision is brought to the full Energy Commission, which will decide to accept, reject or modify the committee's recommendations during a business meeting July 30.

The proposed project is located in Carlsbad in San Diego County. If approved, construction of the CECP, startup testing of the project and demolition of the EPS facilities would take about 64 months. About 95 people will be employed during construction of the CECP and the demolition of the EPS, with an estimated peak workforce of 279 people. Approximately 18 people will be employed during operations.

Details on the committee's decision are in the PMPD. Details about the comment deadline for the PMPD and upcoming committee and Energy Commission meetings for this project are in the Notice of Proposed Decision, Conference and Hearing.

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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.