[California Energy Commission Letterhead]



FOR GEYSERS UNIT 3 (80-AFC-1C), UNIT 16 (79-AFC-5C),
UNIT 17 (79-AFC-1C), UNIT 18 (79-AFC-3C),
UNIT 19 (81-AFC-1C), and UNIT 20 (82-AFC-1C)


On June 20, 2003, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) received a petition from the Calpine Corporation to amend the Energy Commission Decisions for Geysers Units 3, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 geothermal power plants. These power plants are located in Lake and Sonoma counties, approximately 25 miles north of the City of Santa Rosa.


Calpine requests the use of reclaimed wastewater for a variety of purposes at their geothermal power plants, including cooling tower makeup water, flushing toilets, fire fighting, and cleaning sidewalks and outdoor work areas. Construction activities will be minor, consisting primarily of installation of pipes (ranging in length from 20 to 100 feet) from the existing reclaimed water distribution lines to the power plant facilities. These distribution lines were installed as a part of the City of Santa Rosa's "Geysers Recharge Project", which provides reclaimed municipal wastewater to the Geysers steamfields to enhance geothermal steam production. Calpine intends to use reclaimed water at all 19 of their geothermal power plants in the Geysers area; however, only the six listed at the top of this Notice are licensed by the Energy Commission. The remaining facilities are subject to the jurisdiction of Lake and Sonoma counties.


Pursuant to section 1769(a)(2), Title 20, California Code of Regulations, Energy Commission approval for the change is not required if Energy Commission staff determines that the modification will: (1) not have a significant effect on the environment, (2) not result in a change or deletion of a condition of certification, and (3) not cause the project not to comply with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, or standards. Energy Commission staff have determined that the proposed uses of reclaimed water at the subject geysers power plants comply with the foregoing criteria because:

(1) The modifications will not have a significant effect on the environment because they are minor in nature, and the existing conditions of certification are adequate to avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts of the proposed modifications,

(2) No changes to, or deletion of, an existing condition of certification will be required,

(3) The project modifications are in compliance with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations or standards, and the project owner will secure appropriate permits from the California Department of Health Services, the California Central Valley and North Coast Regional Quality Control Boards, the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project owner will be required to include data for reclaimed water usage for each power plant in all annual compliance reports submitted to the Energy Commission for the life of the power plants, and

(4) The modification will benefit the public by allowing for water conservation and minimizing surface discharges through industrial use of reclaimed municipal wastewater.

Any person may file a written objection to staff's determination on the grounds that the project change does not meet the criteria set forth above. If you object to staff's determination, please submit the objection in writing to Nancy Tronaas, Compliance Project Manager, at the address above, or by fax at (916) 654-3882, or by e-mail at [ntronaas@energy.state.ca.us]. If no substantive objection is received by 5:00 P.M., March 5, 2004, the requested change will be approved. This Notice is also posted on the Energy Commission's website at www.energy.ca.gov/siting.

If you have questions, please contact Nancy Tronaas at (916) 654-3864 or by e-mail at [ntronaas@energy.state.ca.us].

Date online: February 20, 2004

TERRENCE O'BRIEN, Deputy Director
Systems Assessment & Facilities Siting Division

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