Calpine, Bechtel Plan 600 MW San Francisco Plant

Under an ongoing partnering agreement, Calpine Corp., the voracious San Jose, CA-based power plant developer, and a part of the venerable San Francisco-based international infrastructure builder, Bechtel, applied to the California Energy Commission to build and operate a 600 MW natural gas-fired power plant in the East San Francisco Bay town of Hayward.

Called the Russell City Energy Center, the project marks the start of the state application process, but not the start of the time clock on the new six-month expedited approval process under which the partners are hoping to cut the normally one-year average time required from the point at which the state energy commission approves the application as "data adequate" to when the five-member body gives it final approval to start construction.

Citing considerable groundwork already done on the project, Calpine's Curt Hildebrand, vice president and general manager of the Calpine/Bechtel joint projects, said the sponsors are "hopeful that his project will be eligible for the six-month (state) review process. We are seeking the expedited review to do everything we can to help solve the state's energy crisis as quickly as possible."

The proposed natural gas, combined-cycle plant would be located on approximately 14 acres zoned heavy industrial, adjacent to a Hayward municipal wastewater treatment plant, which would supply recycled water to the electricity plant.This is the third of four new San Francisco Bay Area power plants that Calpine and Bechtel Enterprises Holdings have committed to develop and operate on a joint venture basis. Besides the energy commission okay, the project will need city and county approvals, Calpine's Hildebrand said.

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