Sunrise Power Project

Docket Number:

98-AFC-04 (Application For Certification)
98-AFC-04C (Compliance Proceeding)

Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: Phase I - June 27, 2001
Operational: Phase II - June 1, 2003

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on November 19, 2001. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

  • Phase I
    • Phase II
      • 5/14/2001 - Application for Certification (AFC) filed
      • 11/19/2001 - Commission approves Application for Certification.
      • 6/1/2003 - Phase II on line and producing power.


    On December 6, 2000, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) approved the Sunrise Power Project (Sunrise). Construction began on the 320 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant on December 7, 2000. The facility began operation on June 26, 2001.

    On November 19, 2001, the Energy Commission approved a petition allowing the expansion of Sunrise to a 585 MW combined-cycle power plant. In accordance with Executive Order D-25-01 of Governor (Gray Davis) of the State of California, date February 8, 2001, the petition was processed as a project amendment rather than as a new Application for Certification. Construction on the project commenced operation on December 21, 2001. The combined-cycle configuration commenced operation in June 1, 2003.

    The combined-cycle project includes two duct-fired heat recovery steam generators, one 265 MW steam turbine generator, an anhydrous ammonia selective catalytic reduction system to control air emissions, an evaporative condenser cooling tower system, a 15.5 mile water line, an expansion of the existing power plant site, and injection wells for wastewater disposal.

    Sunrise is located approximately 35 miles southwest of Bakersfield, and one mile southwest of the intersection of State Route 33 and Shale Road in Kern County.

    Sunrise was formerly owned by a 50-50 partnership consisting of Edison Mission Energy (EME) and Chevron. NRG acquired 100% of Sunrise in May 2014 when it acquired all of EME’s assets and Chevron’s share.

    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:

    Eric Veerkamp
    Compliance Project Manager
    Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection (STEP) Division
    California Energy Commission
    1516 Ninth Street, MS-2000
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-654-4295

    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