California commission staff needs more data on Calpine’s Mission Rock project

In a routine step at this stage of a project review, the executive director at the California Energy Commission filed a Jan. 29 memo recommending that Mission Rock Energy Center LLC supply a number of new details before its Dec. 30, 2015, Application for Certification (AFC) on a 255-MW project be deemed as complete and ready for processing.

Mission Rock wants to construct and operate a power plant in Ventura County, California, approximately two miles west of Santa Paula, near State Highway 126. The Mission Rock Energy Center (MREC) project is a natural gas-fired facility. Mission Rock would also provide 100 MWhr (25 MW x 4 hours) of battery storage and synchronous condenser clutch technology to provide ancillary and grid reliability services.

The five General Electric LM6000 combustion turbine generators (CTGs) would be equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) air emissions control equipment and associated support equipment for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) control. Each CTG would be capable of generating approximately 57 MW (gross) at base load. The project is expected to have an overall annual availability of 92% to 98%, including scheduled and forced outages occurrences.

Said the Jan. 29 memo: “The Energy Commission staff has completed its data adequacy review of the AFC and has determined that it does not meet all of the requirements listed in Title 20, section 1704, and Division 2, Chapter 5, Appendix B of the California Code of Regulations for the 12-month permitting process. Of the 22 technical disciplines reviewed, staff has determined that the information contained in the AFC is deficient in eleven (11) areas, namely: air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, project overview, reliability, soils, traffic & transportation, transmission system design, visual resources, waste management and water resources.

“Attached are a summary table and the data adequacy worksheets for all technical disciplines,” the memo added. “The worksheets for the deficient sections identify the additional information that staff believe is necessary to fulfill the AFC data adequacy requirements. At the Energy Commission’s business meeting on February 10, 2016, I will recommend that the Energy Commission adopt the list of deficiencies and not accept the AFC as complete until the additional information specified in the data adequacy worksheets is supplied.”

Mission Rock Energy Center LLC is a unit of Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN). This will be a natural gas-fired, simple-cycle combustion turbine facility rated at a nominal capacity of 275 MW, co-located with battery units for the storage of electricity that can deliver an additional 25 MW. The MREC will also be fitted with a clutch system so that it can provide voltage support by operating as a synchronized condenser.

Mission Rock filed this AFC under the commission’s 12-month licensing process. Construction of the MREC is expected to begin in November 2018. Pre-operational testing of the power plant is expected to begin in April 2020, and full-scale commercial operation is expected to begin by September 2020.

The MREC’s primary objective is to combine dispatchable, operationally flexible, and efficient energy generation with state-of-the-art energy storage technology, to meet the need for new local capacity in the Moorpark Subarea of the Big Creek/Ventura local reliability area of Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) service territory. The same energy storage system that provides MREC with black start capability will also provide an additional 25 MW/100 MW hours of flexible, preferred resource capacity to the grid.

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.