San Diego district takes comment on Carlsbad project air approval

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District on Jan. 16 extended the comment period on an Air Pollution Control Officer preliminary decision to approve the Carlsbad Energy Center LLC’s proposed development of the Amended Carlsbad Energy Center Project until Feb. 2.

The comment period was to have ended on Jan. 16.

The Amended Carlsbad Energy Center Project (ACECP) is an approximately 630-MW simple cycle power plant consisting of: six natural-gas-fired combustion turbine generators, each with emission control equipment; an emergency diesel fire pump engine; and an emergency generator engine. They are to be located at 4600 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, California, on a portion of the same facility as the existing Encina Power Station.

If the amended project is constructed, the previously approved Carlsbad Energy Center Project would not be constructed. This project is also the subject of a Compliance and Amendment Proceeding with the California Energy Commission, and the District’s air permitting notice was filed on Jan. 16 with the commission in that docket.

The California Energy Commission is currently taking comment until Jan. 21 on a Preliminary Staff Assessment covering proposed changes in the 2012 commission approval of the Carlsbad Energy Center Project (CECP). The project owner and petitioner, Carlsbad Energy Center LLC, is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG).

The PSA serves as a precursor to the Final Staff Assessment (FSA). After allowing for a public comment period and holding public workshops on the PSA, staff will prepare and publish a FSA that will address comments received and serve as staff’s formal testimony in evidentiary hearings to be held by the Energy Commission Committee assigned to hear this case.

In May 2012, the Energy Commission approved the 540-MW CECP, with combined-cycle technology powered by natural gas and air-cooled by fin-fan heat exchange condensers. Following a change in regional reliability requirements due to the June 2013 decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, plans to amend the licensed CECP began. Amendments to the CECP were filed in two separate petitions in 2014. The two petitions were consolidated and combined into one proceeding.

The amended CECP would be located on about 30 acres (an expansion of seven acres from the licensed CECP footprint) at the northeastern corner of the 95-acre Encina Power Station (EPS) in the northern coastal San Diego County city of Carlsbad. The amended CECP would consist of six General Electric LMS 100 combustion-turbine units operating in simple-cycle mode. The amended CECP would generate a net of 632 MW (at 96°F and 36% relative humidity), and is designed to provide peaking power at a maximum 31% annual capacity factor. Similar to the licensed CECP, the amended CECP would interconnect with San Diego Gas & Electric‘s (SDG&E) 138-kV and 230-kV switchyard facilities.

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.