CA's Largest Merchant Plant Under Construction

A PG&E Corp. subsidiary broke ground last week on its massive La Paloma gas-fired power plant. The 1,048 MW generating facility will burn about 150 MMcf/d of gas and will be connected to the Kern-Mojave Pipeline about 40 miles west of Bakersfield. It will be the largest merchant power plant in the state and is expected to begin operations in summer 2001.

"Today's groundbreaking marks a further step in the execution of our strategy to build a strong electric generating capability in key competitive energy markets, including Southern California and the Southwest," said Thomas G. Boren, CEO of PG&E Corp.'s National Energy Group. "La Paloma and the additional plants we are developing in this region will provide much-needed sources of clean, cost-competitive energy, and create a solid foundation for our National Energy Group to serve the growing wholesale markets in this region." Boren said the company is working to develop new facilities near San Diego and Phoenix, together representing an additional 1,500 MW of capacity scheduled to come on line in 2002 and 2003.

The La Paloma plant's four highly efficient, gas-fueled combined-cycle turbines are designed to minimize environmental impacts. The plant design utilizes the best emission control technology available, including selective catalytic reduction for NOx control, making La Paloma Generating one of the cleanest fossil-fueled generating stations ever built. In addition, as part of its environmental mitigation program for the facility, PG&E Corp. has permanently set aside 270 acres of land for conservation.

Rocco Canonica

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