McLaren Backup Generating Facility

Docket Number:

17-SPPE-01 (Small Power Plant Exemption)

Project Status: Exempted: Pending local permits

Key Dates


On December 26, 2017, Vantage Data Centers filed an application with the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE). The project consists of two primary components--the McLaren Data Center (MDC) and the McLaren Backup Generating Facility (MBGF). The MDC consists of three, four-story, 175,000-180,000-gross square feet (gsf) data center buildings (a total of approximately 541,000 gsf) and a paved surface parking lot on an approximately 8.97-acre site. The MBGF consists of 47 diesel-fired backup generators, each with a peak output capacity of 2.75 megawatt (MW) and with a continuous steady state output capacity of 1.93 MW, for a total generation capacity of up to 98.67 MW to support the need for the MDC to provide uninterruptible power supply for its tenants’ servers. Three additional 600kW generators would provide continuous power to the pumps associated with the fire sprinkler system and other emergency operations for each building. Additional project elements include switchgear and distribution cabling to interconnect the three generation yards to their respective buildings. The project also includes an approximately 14,250-sf Silicon Valley Power (SVP) substation along Mathew Street. The Commission approved the Small Power Plant Exemption on November 7, 2018.

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:

Leonidas (Lon) Payne
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-0966

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

News Media Please Contact:

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

Original Proceeding



McLaren Backup Generating Facility
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