California Energy Commission recommends approval of NRG Energy project

Princeton, N.J., November 13, 2009 — NRG Energy’s Carlsbad Energy Center Project received an approval recommendation from the California Energy Commission Staff in its final staff assessment.

The endorsement marks a permitting milestone that will advance modernization plans for NRG’s Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California.

NRG will replace three existing steam boiler units with a more efficient 558-MW plant that will enhance the facility’s environmental performance and be able to provide electricity to about 450,000 homes.

The CEC’s assessment comes on the heels of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District’s August release of its final determination of compliance, in which the air district concluded that the Carlsbad Energy Center Project will meet all ambient air quality standards and achieve public health goals.

The Carlsbad Energy Center Project will produce fewer emissions per MW generated; eliminate the need for over 200 million gallons per day of permitted ocean water intake for cooling; and reduce Encina Power Station’s potable water use.

The new power plant will increase the net output of Encina Power Station by more than 200 MW.

According to the Final Staff Assessment, CEC staff concluded that the Carlsbad Energy Center Project “would comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.” It also determined “that significant adverse direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts would not occur, and/or can be brought to a level of less than significant.”

Originally constructed in 1954, Encina Power Station has five steam generating units and one peaking combustion turbine. The proposed modernization would replace the three oldest steam-generating units with a highly efficient power plant. Two generating units, built in 1974, will continue to operate as needed to support regional demand.

The Carlsbad Energy Center Project will use air-cooled condensers instead of ocean water for its cooling requirements, reducing intake from the adjacent Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and emissions from the new plant will be below California’s newly imposed greenhouse gas standard.

Constructed in a recessed site that is about 30 feet below grade, the project is designed to have a low visual profile and complement the future community and commercial development of the Encina site.

The permitting process will continue into spring 2010. Pending issuance of necessary permits and contingent on securing a long-term sales contract for the power, NRG anticipates bringing the facility online by 2013. The project will create more than 350 construction jobs in the San Diego region and estimated tax revenues of $4 to $5 million annually.

NRG Energy owns and operates power plants with more than 24,000 MW of generation capacity — enough to supply more than 20 million homes.

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