Sequoia Data Center

Docket Number:

19-SPPE-03 (Small Power Plant Exemption)

Project Status: In Review

Committee Overseeing This Case:

Karen Douglas, Commissioner, Presiding Member

Patty Monahan, Commissioner, Associate Member

Hearing Officer: Galen Lemei

Key Dates


The Sequoia Data Center (SDC) would include a data center building, the Sequoia Backup Generating Facility (SBGF), and an electrical substation. The 15-acre project site is located at 2600 De La Cruz Boulevard in the City of Santa Clara. The SDC building would be four stories and would encompass approximately 702,114 square feet of gross area, of which approximately 70,000 square feet would be dedicated for administrative and office uses. The SBGF would consist of 54 diesel-fired generators arranged in a generation yard located on the west and south sides of the SDC. The SBGF would be used exclusively to provide backup generation to support the SDC during emergency loss of utility power. The 100 megavolt amps electrical substation would be located in the western portion of the site. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires the lead agency to consider the whole of the action; therefore, the Energy Commission will include the entire data center project in its analysis, which includes the construction of the data center buildings along with the installation and operation of the generators and any associated utility connection facilities.

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


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