Edison Adds to CA Power Base
Edison Mission Energy (EME), an affiliate of Southern California Edison,
said it has acquired the rights to a 320 MW natural gas-fired peaking power
facility in Kern County --- which could be online by next August --- and
is offering to sell the power to the state.
"From the onset of the California power crisis, we have sought
to find means to bring new power to the California market," said John
E. Bryson, chairman of parent Edison International. "After months
of negotiations, we have finalized an agreement on a critical new project
...We intend to offer this power by contract to the state so that the pricing
for it does not depend on California's broken deregulated power market."
"To have a positive impact next summer, we must receive acceptance
confirmation from the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO)
very quickly," said Alan J. Fohrer, president and CEO of EME. The
company expects to receive the necessary permits soon to begin construction
on Dec. 7.
"EME will also seek to enter into a long-term, cost-based contract
with either Pacific Gas & Electric Co. or San Diego Gas & Electric
Co., to further ensure that California's consumers reap the benefit of
this additional power resource," Fohrer said. EME bought the rights
to construct the project in Kern County from Texaco Power and Gasification.
The Sunrise Power Project will be completed in two phases. Phase I will
consist of a 320 MW simple-cycle peaking facility scheduled to be in service
during the summer 2001. Phase II will convert the peaking facility to a
560 MW, combined-cycle operation with an in-service date of summer 2003.
"EME is pleased to have acquired the Sunrise Project from Texaco,
with whom we have a long history of jointly developing and operating power
projects," Fohrer said. "Our thanks and appreciation go to the
various regulatory agencies for their swift consideration of this important
Final regulatory approvals should be received shortly for Phase I of
the project. EME plans to seek expedited permitting approval for the Phase
II expansion in line with the fast-track approvals process recently enacted
by the California legislature.
EME has also negotiated an agreement with the labor unions for an adequate
supply of highly skilled labor in order to achieve a fast track construction
schedule. The fast track schedule is aimed at providing this additional
power to California by next summer.
A report issued last week by the California Energy Commission said that
with new power plants and temporary peaking units going on line next summer
the state should be able to meet its power needs, barring extraordinarily
hot weather. (see related story, this issue)
Calpine, which has projects pending in the California area for 7,700 MW
over the next five years, expects 1,000 MW baseload will be completed for
EME specializes in the development, acquisition, construction management
and operation of global power production facilities. It owns nearly 23,000
MW of generating capacity. Ellen Beswick