PG&E Corp. Swaps Power Plant, Truck Emissions Credits
PG&E Corp. last week made another stride to bring more
electricity generating projects online in an attempt to provide
California with an adequate power supply in the future. The company
entered into an agreement with Waste Management Inc. to replace 120
diesel-fueled garbage collection trucks with natural gas-fueled
versions in order to offset the emissions of a proposed 500 MW
natural gas-fired power plant to be located in San Diego County.
This project marks the first time in the nation that emission
reductions from mobile sources have been used to offset emissions
from a major new stationary source. The diesel-powered trucks will
be replaced with natural gas-fired Mack trucks, which will reduce
emissions by more than 50%. PG&E National Energy Group (NEG)
and Waste Management together will spend $33 million on the fleet
The air emission credits earned through this project will be
used by the PG&E National Energy Group to help offset emissions
from the proposed Otay Mesa generating project.
"As we have seen this summer, there is a critical need for new
power supplies in California, including the San Diego region. New
base-load power plants, like Otay Mesa, are the long-term solution
to the immediate problem," said Thomas B. King, president of the
PG&E NEG's West Region.
PG&E NEG will pay for the difference in cost between
replacing the existing 120 trucks with new diesel-fueled engines,
and replacing them with the more expensive liquefied natural gas
(LNG) fuel systems. The company will also construct an LNG fuel
station, which can be used by other fleets that convert as well.
The trucks will be replaced on an expedited schedule of 18
months. The replacement of the trucks will account for one-third of
the offset needed for the power plant to be built. The remaining
two-thirds of emission reduction will come from the conversion to
cleaner burning fuel of two of San Diego Harbor Excursions'
vessels, and from other stationary sources in San Diego County.
The construction of Otay Mesa marks the first major power plant
to be built in San Diego County in almost 30 years. Scheduled for
commercial service in the middle of 2003, the facility will
generate enough power for a half million homes. Construction begins
early next year.
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