California commission schedules July 15 session on 262-MW Puente project

The members of the California Energy Commission on a committee reviewing an Application for Certification on the Puente Power Project has scheduled a Committee Conference/Closed Session on July 15 at the commission offices in Sacramento, said a July 5 public notice from the commission.

The committee will conduct the conference for the primary purpose of deliberating in closed session on the issues presented by the application and any then-pending motions or other requests that are ready for consideration. The open meeting will be convened, public comment taken, and then the closed session will begin. The open meeting will reopen at the conclusion of the closed session to make any announcement of a required reportable action and to adjourn the meeting. No oral argument will be taken.

In April 2015, NRG Oxnard Energy Center LLC submitted the application for permission to construct and operate a 262-MW, natural-gas-fired facility. The project would be located at 393 North Harbor Boulevard in the city of Oxnard, on the site of the existing Mandalay Generating Station, an operating power plant.

The project would replace two aging gas-fired steam-generating units (Units 1 and 2) at theMandalay Generating Station, with a new General Electric Frame 7HA.01 natural gas-fired combustion turbine generator and associated auxiliaries. The project would upgrade and repurpose the existing Mandalay station maintenance and warehouse structures, transmission interconnections, and ancillary systems to the extent feasible.

If the proposed project is approved and developed, Mandalay Units 1 and 2 would be demolished following commissioning of the new generating equipment.

The Energy Commission staff published the Preliminary Staff Assessment on June 17. On June 28, the City of Oxnard filed a request to extend the public comment period on the assessment from 45 days to 90 days. On June 29, Raoul Renaud, the assigned Energy Commission hearing officer for the proceedings, filed a memorandum stating that the request would be treated as a motion and that all comments on the motion should be submitted by July 12.

The June 28 Oxnard letter said: “The Puente Project will impact a number of important environmental resources, including coastal wetlands, it will affect a community that is already overburdened by the impacts of numerous industrial facilities, and it presents complex technical issues regarding air impacts and impacts resulting from sea level rise and other coastal hazards. Furthermore, the comment period extends over the summer and fourth of July holidays, when many people are on vacation and will not have adequate time to devote to the review of the preliminary staff assessment.”

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.