Project Status: Licensed; In Compliance Phase.
Operational: February 28, 2006

The California Energy Commission approved this project's Application For Certification on February 18, 2004. The Commission monitors the power plant's construction, operation and eventual decommissioning through a compliance proceeding.

Key Dates

General Description of Project

The Walnut Energy Center (WEC) is a nominal 250 megawatts (MW) gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant located on 18 acres within a 69-acre parcel in an industrially-zoned area, about 4 miles west of the downtown portion of the City of Turlock, Stanislaus County. The site is located southeast of the intersection of West Main Street and South Washington Road. The Project was certified by the Energy Commission in February 2004 and began commercial operation in February 2006.

Operation of WEC requires up to 1,800 afy of water, approximately 98 percent of which is used for cooling purposes.

In its 2004 Decision, the Energy Commission approved the use of potable water from the City as an interim supply, or “bridge supply,” for cooling, steam cycle make up and also as a back-up supply until the wastewater treatment plant was able to produce recycled water. Once recycled water was available, potable water was permitted for use as a back-up source of water in the event of a short-term interruption in recycled water delivery. The use of potable water as a back-up supply after the bridge supply period was limited to 51 afy, calculated using a 5-year rolling average.

In August 2013, the Energy Commission approved a petition allowing Walnut Energy Center Authority to increase its back-up water supply when recycled water is not available.

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

Original Proceeding

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