Project Status: In Review

Committee Overseeing This Case:

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Presiding Member

David Hochschild, Chair, Associate Member

Hearing Officer: Ralph Lee & Susan Cochran

Event Recordings

December 11, 2020, Continued Public Scoping Meeting Great Oaks South Backup Generating Facility

November 17, 2020, Public Scoping Meeting

Key Dates

General Description of Project

SV1, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equinix, LLC (SV1 or applicant) filed an application with the California Energy Commission (CEC) seeking an exemption from the CEC’s jurisdiction (Small Power Plant Exemption, or SPPE) for the Great Oaks South Backup Generating Facility (GOSBGF) (20-SPPE-01) and proceed with local permitting rather than requiring certification by the CEC. In reviewing an SPPE application, the CEC is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will perform the required environmental analysis.

The GOSBGF would be part of the Great Oaks South Data Center (GOSDC or project) to be located in the City of San Jose. The GOSDC would also include three data center buildings and a connection to a new Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) substation. The three, two-story GOSDC buildings would each be 182,350 square feet. 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 have a generating capacity of up to 99.0 megawatts (MW) supporting the three data center buildings. GOSBGF would consist of 36, 3.25-MW diesel fired generators in six 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 PG&E electrical service to the data centers has failed. In addition, the GOSBGF would include three life safety diesel fired generators, each capable of generating 0.50 MW.

The project would include a new PG&E substation (Santa Teresa Substation), a 115 kilovolt (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 underground either along Via Del Oro or along Great Oaks Boulevard, or via both routes to the project site. The applicant understands that PG&E is currently constructing the substation. Project elements would also include switchgear and distribution cabling to interconnect the six generation yards to their respective buildings. 

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: 916-661-8367

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

La Oficina de Asesoría al Público de la Comisión de Energía de California (CEC, por sus siglas en inglés) proporciona asistencia a personas interesadas en participar en los procedimientos de la CEC. Para obtener información sobre cómo participar en este procedimiento, o para solicitar servicios en español u otras adaptaciones razonables, comuníquese con la Asesora, Noemí O. Gallardo, por correo electrónico a, o por teléfono al (916) 654-4489, o llame gratis al (800) 822-6228.

News Media Please Contact:

Media & Public Communications Office
Phone: 916-654-4989

Great Oaks South
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