California commission lays out review for much smaller Alamitos power project

The California Energy Commission Committee assigned to conduct proceedings on the Application for Certification (AFC) for the gas-fired Alamitos Energy Center (AEC) project said in a Jan. 14 notice that it has scheduled public status conferences to review the progress of the application and consider any then-pending motions or petitions.

Those sessions, all to take place at the commission offices in Sacramento, are due on February 25, April 27, June 29, August 26 and October 19 of this year.

In December 2013, AES Southland Development LLC submitted an AFC to modernize the existing Alamitos Generating Station (AGS). The company proposed a natural-gas-fired, air-cooled, combined-cycle facility with a net generating capacity of 1,936 MW and gross capacity of 1,995 MW. The Alamitos Energy Center (AEC) would be located on approximately 63 acres of privately-owned land in the City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California. AES Southland is a unit of AES Corp. (NYSE: AES).

The AFC was deemed “data adequate” on March 12, 2014. On April 29, 2014, the committee conducted a site visit and public informational hearing and scoping meeting. On May 6, 2014, the committee issued a scheduling order. At a December 16, 2014, status conference, the applicant proposed substantial changes to the configuration of the AEC project that would reduce the nominal generating capacity from 1,995 MW to 1,040 MW. The applicant indicated that it would file an AFC supplement in the third quarter of 2015. The changes render the May 6, 2014, schedule obsolete, except that the requirement to file a status report on the fifteenth of each month remains intact.

Stephen O’Kane, an AES representative, said at the Dec. 16 conference: “So while I don’t have a lot of information in detail to provide today, what I can tell you is that we have settled on the size of the project. [W]e intend to come back with a supplemental filing describing a nominal 1,040 megawatt project; 1,040 megawatt, that’s nominal net generation. And we expect…to have a complete supplement with all the information, filings, detailed modeling, and a parallel filing with the Air Quality Management District in the third quarter of 2015.” He didn’t say why the project size has been cut nearly in half.

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.