July 23, 2024
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New bids to replace Puente Power Project likely to be smaller


A new round of bids for a replacement for the now-shelved Puente Power Project will likely save consumers money, according to an influential state senator representing Ventura County.

Sen. Henry Stern, a Democrat whose district includes Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, told a panel at the 47th annual Ventura County Economic Development Association outlook conference that new bids for a Puente alternative will “come in much lower” than the natural gas plant proposed by NRG for a site on the coast in Oxnard.
The project’s future was thrown wide open recently when NRG withdrew its plan in the face of opposition from California Energy Commission staff.
Stern, who serves on the Energy, Utilities and Communications committee, said he thinks a mix of storage and more decentralized power facilities will solve distribution problems.
“The future is small,” he told about 200 business and community leaders at the Ronald Reagan Library and Presidential Museum at an Oct. 20 breakfast.
He was joined on the panel by Kern County Assemblyman Vince Fong, a Republican.
Fong said the state needs to address power storage problems as it transitions toward less dependence on fossil fuels.
• Contact Henry Dubroff at hdubroff@pacbiztimes.com.