Project Status: In Review


Committee Overseeing This Case:

TBD, Commissioner, Presiding Member

TBD, Associate Member

Hearing Officer: TBA


Key Dates


General Description of Project

SV1, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equinix, LLC (SV1 or Applicant) is seeking an exemption from the Energy Commission’s jurisdiction (Small Power Plant Exemption, or SPPE) and proceed with local approval rather than requiring an Energy Commission license. In reviewing an SPPE application the Energy Commission acts as the lead agency under section 25519(c) of the Public Resources Code and, in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), will perform any required environmental analysis.

The Great Oaks South Backup Generating Facility (GOSBGF) would have a generating capacity of up to 99.0 megawatts supporting the three data center buildings (Great Oaks South Data Center [GOSDC]) and include a connection to a new PG&E substation. The approximately 18-acre project site is associated with three addresses (123, 127, and 131 Great Oaks Boulevard), with each address designated to one building assigned by the City of San Jose. GOSBGF would consist of a total of 36 diesel fired generators in three generation yards that would each be separately electrically interconnected to the three data center buildings and used exclusively to provide backup generation and uninterruptible power supply for its tenant’s servers, only operating when the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) electrical service to the data centers have failed. The new PG&E substation (Santa Teresa Substation), a 115 kV transmission line extension to the substation from the existing Metcalf-Edenvale 115 kV transmission line, and five new 21 kilovolt (kV) distribution feeders that would extend along Via Del Oro to the data center site. The applicant understands that PG&E is currently constructing the substation. Project elements will also include switchgear and distribution cabling to interconnect the six generation yards to their respective buildings. In addition, the GOSBGF will include three (3) life safety diesel fired generators, each capable of generating 0.50 MW. The three, two-story GOSDC buildings are each 182,350 square feet.

Small Power Plant Exemption Evaluation Process

The SPPE process allows projects between 50 and 100 MW to proceed with local approval rather than requiring an Energy Commission license. This exemption from the Energy Commission licensing process can be applied to projects that would not create a substantial adverse impact on the environment or energy resources. The Energy Commission acts as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will prepare an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration that examines public health and safety, along with environmental impacts of the proposed project, including all related facilities such as electric transmission lines, natural gas and water pipelines. If the exemption is granted, the applicant would still need to secure the appropriate licenses and permits from relevant local, state, and federal agencies.

For Questions about this Exemption Proceeding Contact:

Lisa Worrall
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4545
E-mail: Lisa.Worrall@energy.ca.gov

For Questions About Public Participation In Exemption Proceedings Contact:

Public Advisor
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-12 Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4489
Toll-Free in California: 1-800-822-6228
E-mail: PublicAdvisor@energy.ca.gov

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989
E-mail: mediaoffice@energy.ca.gov

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