Avenal Energy Center gets nine months to re-look at 600-MW project

The California Energy Commission on Dec. 30 agreed to a nine-month delay, until September of this year, on a construction start for the 600-MW Avenal Energy Center project.

The proposed Avenal Energy Center (AEC), owned by Avenal Power Center LLC, is a 600-MW combined cycle natural gas facility located in the city of Avenal in Kings County, California. It was certified by the California Energy Commission in December 2009.

Although AEC’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air permit request was filed concurrent with the application for certification, the PSD permit was not issued until May 2011, and the PSD decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In August 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued a decision revoking AEC’s PSD permit, sending it back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise. On Oct. 22, 2014, based on the timing and outcome of the Ninth Circuit decision, Avenal Power Center filed a petition to extend the deadline to commence construction for nine months from Dec. 16, 2014, to Sept. 16, 2015.

Said the commission approval of the extension: “The proposed extension is justified, and good cause has been shown, because information that was not available to the parties prior to Energy Commission certification is now available, in that the project owner has recently resolved their litigation and must reevaluate the project’s configuration, operational profile and regulatory requirements.”

The project is located in Kings County near the intersection of Interstate 5 and Avenal Cutoff Road. It is a nominal 600-MW gas-fired plant configured with two General Electric Model 7241FA gas turbines, each of would exhaust into a fired heat recovery steam generator.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.