PG&E National Energy Gets Final OK For 1,080 MW Plant

PG&E National Energy Group last week received final regulatory approval for its 1,080 MW Athens generating facility in New York, allowing the project to begin construction so that it can deliver electricity to New York's energy markets as early as summer 2003.

The approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, delivered last month, caps a four-year long, comprehensive permitting process that involved 14 separate regulatory approvals from local, state and federal authorities. With all the necessary permit approvals in hand, general site preparation work on the natural gas-fired generating plant was expected to commence last week. Full construction for the plant will commence later this summer.

The Athens plant expects to sell most of its power at wholesale through the New York Independent System Operator, primarily into the Mid-Hudson Valley, southeastern New York and New York City. The power plant, which will have the capacity to provide enough electricity to power one million homes, will be located near the town of Athens, NY. Commercial operation is expected in mid-2003.

"This is the first project approved under New York's Article X Siting Legislation and is the first major generating facility built in New York in a decade," said Bill Quinn, the company's vice-president for project development. "While it was a lengthy, four-year process, Governor Pataki and the many regulatory officials and agencies involved deserve significant credit for their exhaustive, thorough review - ensuring that this will be one of the cleanest plants of its type in the nation," he added.

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