PG&E Corp. moved another step closer to full approval of its proposed natural gas-fired 1,040 MW natural gas-fired plant to be located in Maricopa County, AZ. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special use permit for the pending electric generation facility to be positioned near Phoenix.

In the sweltering West where capacity is tight, the proposed $500 million Harquahala plant is viewed as much needed generation for the coming years. The plant is expected to be completed and fully operational sometime during 2003 (see NGI, June 12).

“The approval of the special use permit by the board of supervisors moves us closer to building a much-needed source of clean and cost-competitive energy,” said Thomas B. King, president for PG&E Corp.’s National Energy Group, West Region. The permit allows the facility to be constructed and to operate. The company envisions selling power in the fast-growing, three-state market of Arizona, southern Nevada and Southern California.

All that remains in the way is the water quality permit and county air quality permit, as well as a satisfactory environmental assessment from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. “We’re in an excellent position to begin construction before year-end,” said King.

Alex Steis

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