Santa Clara SC-1 Data Center, Phase 2

Docket Number:

11-SPPE-01 (Small Power Plant Exemption)

Project Status: Exempted.
Operational: 2015

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Small Power Plant Exemption on March 28, 2012. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates


On November 18, 2011, Xeres Ventures, LLC, (Xeres), a subsidiary of DuPont Fabros Technologies, LP, submitted an Application for a Small Power Plant Exemption (SPPE) from the Energy Commission to construct and operate the Santa Clara SC-1 Data Center, Phase 2, (Data Center), at 555 Reed Street, Santa Clara, California. Xeres proposes to install an additional 16 backup generators at the Data Center, located in an industrial area in the City of Santa Clara in Santa Clara County, California. Each backup generator has a capacity to generate 2250 kW, or 2.25 MW.

The City of Santa Clara, as Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), prepared an Initial Study and issued a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for the project in March, 2008. The Data Center, when complete, will include a total of 32 backup generators, with a total capacity of 72 MW. Xeres has constructed and is currently operating Phase 1 of the facility and seeks the Energy Commission exemption in order to obtain authorization to complete the build out of Phase 2. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Energy Commission's authority to permit power plants require the applicant to seek authorization to add the 16-backup generators and appurtenant facilities as a result of the increased generation beyond the 50 MW threshold (see below).

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:

Mary Dyas
Compliance Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-8891

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



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