October 3, 2008

Antioch Power Plant Proposal Reaches Review Stage

By Hilary Costa

ANTIOCH -- The California Energy Commission has begun a yearlong review of a 930-megawatt power plant proposed for land on the Antioch Delta.

If approved, construction of Mirant Corporation's $800 million Marsh Landing Generating Station would begin in fall 2009, with completion about 2012. During this review the commission will vet the project California Environmental Quality Act compliance.

The Marsh Landing power plant would be located on land currently occupied by five unused oil tanks next to the Contra Costa Power Plant on Wilbur Avenue. The 27-acre parcel is just outside Antioch limits, but the city has plans to annex the land next year, said Victor Carniglia, Antioch's deputy director of economic development and advanced planning.

Plans for the plant came in response to a request by PG&E for proposals to increase California's electricity capacity, said Chip Little, manager of government affairs for Mirant.

The 930 megawatts generated by the natural gas-fired plant would be enough to power 930,000 homes during off-peak usage and 651,000 homes during peak usage, said Percy Della, spokesman for the California Energy Commission.

The commission will act as the lead agency throughout the environmental review process, performing a site visit, hosting public-input meetings and conducting hearings on the project's merit and compatibility, Della said.

"Public participation is the hallmark of the licensing process," he said.

According to Mirant, this new power source would increase the local electricity grid's reliability and reduce the Bay Area's dependence on imported power. The plant will be built on a brownfield site -- land that has already been developed as an industrial use -- and has critical infrastructure already in place, Little said.

"The reason why we chose the site is because the site actually has the gas transmission and the electric transmission that would be needed for a plant like this," Little said.

The planned plant would use recycled water from the Delta Diablo Sanitation District and would burn natural gas delivered by PG&E.

Information about this project, the review process and how to receive updates on it is at www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/ marshlanding.

Reach Hilary Costa at 925-779-7166 or [email protected]

Originally published by Hilary Costa , East County Times.

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