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Study finds Puente Power Project alternatives could meet energy needs

By   /   Thursday, August 17th, 2017  /   Comments Off on Study finds Puente Power Project alternatives could meet energy needs

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A combination of energy storage, additional solar energy generation and demand-response energy sources could meet the needs of the Ventura County region that would be served by the proposed Puente Power Project in Oxnard.

Part of a study requested by the California Energy Commission, the California Independent Systems Operator Corp. released a study Aug. 16 detailing alternatives to the hotly contested NRG Energy Puente project.

All three options would likely have much higher installation costs than the NRG project, but the study did not evaluate long-term feasibility or a timeline for when the projects would be built out. The three scenarios each accounted for an additional 135 megawatts of demand after 2020, and one examined how to meet the regional needs if the current Ellwood Generating Facility were to be retired.

NRG submitted an application to the CEC on April 15, 2015 to build and operate a 262 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant at the site of what is currently the Mandalay Generating Station. The CEC held an evidentiary hearing in February of 2017 and asked for public comment in late July. The CAISO study was conducted as part of the commission’s environmental review process.

The California Coastal Commission recommended in September of 2016 that the project be built on an alternative site outside of 100-year-flood zones, due to flood risks from storms, coastal erosion or sea level rise caused by climate change.

The energy commission is expected to make a decision on the plant by the end of the year.

• Contact Marissa Nall at [email protected]

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