SOURCE: California Energy Commission

November 09, 2007 20:29 ET

Final Staff Assessment Released on Eastshore Power Project in Hayward

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - November 9, 2007) - A California Energy Commission final staff assessment (FSA) released today recommends against licensing the Eastshore Energy Center project at its proposed location close to the Hayward Executive Airport.

In the FSA, Energy Commission staff agreed with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Aeronautics Division of the California Department of Transportation that thermal plumes from the proposed project could pose a potential hindrance for small planes and helicopters.

The "cumulative" effect of pilots being required to avoid overlying the Eastshore project and nearby Russell City Energy Center recently approved for construction by the Energy Commission is "impractical and in some cases unattainable for pilots" as they approach the airport, according to the FSA.

Staff analyzed 11 alternative sites in the East Bay region and the use of alternative energy technologies. Each alternative presented individual issues in meeting the Eastshore project objective of connecting to Pacific Gas & Electric's Eastshore substation and potentially significant environmental impacts.

Although two of the alternative sites would avoid impacts to aviation operations, they would not meet the project objectives and would have other potential impacts. Similarly use of alternative energy technologies do not meet the project objectives or are infeasible. The FSA said the Energy Commission does not have the authority to approve an alternative or require Eastshore to move the project to another location. Implementation of an alternative site would require filing of a new Application for Certification with the Commission.

Texas-based Tierra Energy is proposing to build the 115.5-megawatt facility, which would operate during periods of peak demand. The power plant would be located on Clawiter Road in Hayward, Alameda County.

The FSA is not a decision or proposed decision on the Eastshore Energy Center. It represents the staff's independent analysis on the proposed plant's potential impacts on the environment, public health and safety, transmission system and other areas of concern, as required by Energy Commission regulations and the California Environmental Quality Act.

The FSA is considered staff's testimony at upcoming evidentiary hearings to be held by a committee of two commissioners. Commissioner Jeffrey Byron is the Eastshore Committee's presiding member, with Commissioner John Geesman as associate member. The hearings will be publicly noticed and held in Hayward.

The committee will review the testimony and information and then issue a presiding member's proposed decision, which will be available for public review. The proposed decision will then be provided to the full Energy Commission for a final decision.

The Eastshore Energy Center FSA is available on the Energy Commission's website at:

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 63 power plants, totaling 23,546 MW. Forty licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Governor Schwarzenegger took office, 18 of these power plants, totaling 6,913 MW, have been approved. In addition, 18 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7329 MW. More information about Energy Commission power plant projects is available at:

Contact Information

    Percy D. Della