Workshop to be held September 27 for Hydrogen Energy California Project

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission staff will hold a workshop on the proposed Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project.

When: Thursday, September 27, 2012, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Where: California Energy Commission, Second Floor Fishbowl,1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California

Why: The workshop is being held to allow staff, the applicant, intervenors, interested agencies, and the public to discuss several technical areas related to the proposed project including air quality, greenhouse gas, carbon capture and storage, land use, biology, cultural resources, noise, socioeconomics, traffic and transportation, health and safety, hazardous materials, and visual resources. Other necessary topics may also be discussed.

What: The HECA project, proposed by SCS Energy, LLC, is an integrated gasification combined cycle power plant that plans to manufacture hydrogen to generate 300 megawatts of electricity and to produce low-carbon nitrogen-based products such as fertilizer. SCS Energy, LLC, which acquired the project in 2011, filed an amended application for certification with the Commission in May 2012 after redesigning key aspects of the project.

The project would be located on a 453-acre site currently used for agricultural purposes. The site is located about seven miles west of Bakersfield near the town of Tupman in western Kern County.

The project would use a gasification technology to convert coal and petroleum coke to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen-rich syngas fuel would be used to generate electricity and produce other products. The amended project includes a manufacturing facility that would produce urea in liquid and pellet form and other products for agricultural use.

The proposed plant would capture about 90 percent of the carbon dioxide produced from the gasification process and transport it for use at the adjacent Elk Hills Oil Field for enhanced oil recovery that would result in sequestration. Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc. owns and operates the field.

The estimated construction cost for the HECA project is $3.15 billion. If the Commission approves the project, construction would last 49 months with work scheduled to start soon after approval with commercial operation projected for September 2017. The project would require an average workforce of 1,159 employees, with a peak of 2,461. Two hundred employees would be needed when the project is operating, according to the applicant.