Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: August 9, 2013

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on October 11, 2006. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

General Description of Project

The Los Esteros Critical Energy Facility (LECEF Phase 1, Docket No. 01-AFC-12C) is a natural gas fired power plant located on 15 acres of a 55 acre tract (owned by the project) in north San Jose at 1515 Elviso-Milpitas Road within Santa Clara County. The site is bounded by State Route 237 on the south side, Zanker Road on the west, and Coyote Creek on the east.

In July 2002, the Energy Commission granted the original license for LECEF Phase 1, consisting of an operational 180 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle power plant with four General Electric LM6000 gas fired simple-cycle turbines. The original three-year license covered construction and operation of LECEF Phase 1. The original license allowed the project to temporarily connect to the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) 115 Kilovolt (kV) line via an overhead “tap-line,” and to permanently connect the project via an underground interconnection once the then undeveloped PG&E Los Esteros Substation was constructed.

In March 2005, the Energy Commission recertified the Los Esteros Project under Docket 03-AFC-2, Phase 1. See the Commission Final Decision on Los Esteros 2, Phase 1 posted on March 18, 2005. Because this recertification was filed under Docket 03-AFC-2 and was licensed, LECEF Phase 1 is now handled under the compliance proceeding for Los Esteros 2, 03-AFC-2C.

In May 2005, the Energy Commission approved an amendment allowing the continued operation of LECEF Phase 1 beyond June 30, 2005 and authorizing LECEF Phase 1 to temporarily interconnect to PG&E’s 115 kV Los Esteros-Nortech transmission line by a 152 foot overhead line (rather than permanently connect via an underground line) until the project converted to combined-cycle operation.

In October 2006, the Energy Commission approved an amendment to move forward with conversion of the project to 320 MW combined-cycle facility (Los Esteros 2). As part of the combined-cycle conversion and was authorized to change the permanent point of interconnection from the underground line (connecting to the PG&E Los Esteros Substation, as approved in the 2002 Decision), to a 230 kV transmission line connecting to the Silicon Valley Power Substation.

Energy Commission Facility Certification Process

The California Energy Commission is the lead agency (for licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.

For Questions about this Certification Proceeding Contact:

John Heiser
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-628-5566

For Questions About Public Participation In Certification 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

News Media Please Contact:

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

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