Power Plant Tentatively Approved at Antioch-Oakley Border

The California Energy Commission has tentatively approved construction of a power plant on the old DuPont property on Bridgehead Road in Oakley.

In its presiding member’s proposed decision (PMPD) released today, the committee said the 624-megawatt facility, as mitigated, will have no significant impacts on the environment and complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.

The proposed decision was based solely on the record of facts, which were established during the facility’s certification proceeding.

The PMPD is not a final decision on the project. The siting committee released the document for 30 days of public comment. The committee will consider input before bringing the proposed decision to the full Energy Commission. The entire document can be found on the Energy Commission’s website at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/oakley/documents/index.html

The PMPD determined that the record, which contains a detailed environmental impact assessment required by the California Environmental Quality Act, was adequate. The record includes the Energy Commission staff’s thorough and independent assessment of the project’s potential impacts on the environment, public health, and safety.

The Oakley Generating Station Project is being proposed by Contra Costa Generating Station, LLC, a limited liability corporation owned by Radback Energy, Inc. The proposed project is a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle electrical generating facility. The project is located on a 21.95-acre site in the city of Oakley in eastern Contra Costa County.

The following is the commission’s rationale for the decision: 

The proposed Oakley Generating Station (OGS) will, as mitigated, have no significant impacts on the environment and complies with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS).

This decision is based exclusively upon the record established during this certification proceeding and summarized in this document. We have independently evaluated the evidence, provided references to the record supporting our findings and conclusions, and specified the measures required to ensure that the OGS is designed, constructed, and operated in the manner necessary to protect public health and safety, promote the general welfare, and preserve environmental quality.

On June 30, 2009, Contra Costa Generating Station, LLC (Contra Costa) submitted to the California Energy Commission, an Application for Certification (AFC) to construct and operate the Oakley Generating Station (OGS), formerly known as the Contra Costa Generating Station.

The proposed OGS Project would consist of natural gas-fired electric generation facilities and ancillary systems located primarily on a 21.95-acre site in the City of Oakley in Contra Costa County and within a portion of the transmission route in the City of Antioch, California.

The AFC was reviewed for data adequacy and at a business meeting held on September 23, 2009, where the Energy Commission adopted the Executive Director’s data adequacy recommendation, thereby deeming the AFC complete for filing purposes thus starting the Energy Commission’s formal review of the proposed project.

The OGS Project will be a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle facility with a nominal generating capacity of 624 megawatts (MW). The facility will be capable of operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and will be designed as a baseload facility with the added capabilities of rapid startup, high turndown capability (i.e. ability to turn down to a low load), and high ramp rates.

Because the combined-cycle configuration will be more efficient than other aging gas-fired steam generation facilities in northern California, the OGS facility is anticipated to be frequently dispatched and operate up to approximately 8,463 hours per year (approximately 96.6 percent capacity with the balance in downtime for maintenance), yet with an expected facility capacity factor at 60 to 80 percent.

The Applicant has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to guarantee commercial availability of power by June 1, 2016. Power will be transmitted to the regional electrical grid through a 230-kV connection to PG&E’s Contra Costa Substation, located 2.4-miles to the southwest of the OGS. The project will replace the existing 60-kV line, located within an existing 80-foot-wide PG&E easement, with a 230-kV line.

Construction laydown and parking areas will be located on a 20-acre parcel east of the plant site on DuPont property. Additionally, DuPont has requested the use of any excess soils resulting from initial leveling and grading of the site. Three stockpile locations, on DuPont properties to the north, have been identified for future use by DuPont for potential build-out of the DuPont Oakley Specific Plan.

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Oakley Power Plant

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