Natural gas generation project that complements wind farms moves ahead

Desert Hot Springs, Calif., October 19, 2009 — Developers of a planned 800-MW natural gas-fired generating project in Desert Hot Springs are moving ahead now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation clearing one of the final roadblocks to the project.

The CPV Sentinel Power Project will supply electricity at times of peak summer demand to complement renewable energy projects and helps protect the Los Angeles region against blackouts.

CPV Sentinel will provide an essential energy backstop for the region’s homes, schools and hospitals when reliable power is needed most.

The region of California surrounding CPV Sentinel is a wind generation-intensive area — with 600 MW of operational wind power and 150 MW under development.

Because of the intermittent nature of wind power, CPV Sentinel will complement nearby wind farms and support California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio requirement.

The CPV Sentinel project is expected to create 350 construction jobs with a $50 million payroll and 14 permanent well paying jobs once in operation. Nearly 400 indirect jobs with $15 million in payroll will be created. During this economically stressed period, CPV Sentinel will provide an estimated $2.6 million in new business taxes, $25 million in sales tax and $9 million in annual property taxes.

CPV Sentinel is a quick-start power plant that will use eight GE LMS-100 turbines, a product of GE Energy. The turbines are designed to start in ten minutes.

CPV Sentinel was in the final stages of securing permits and was preparing for construction when a decision was issued in litigation filed against the South Coast Air Quality Management District — the agency from which CPV Sentinel has requested emission reduction credits.

The credits are required to issue the plant’s air permit and commence construction. CPV Sentinel could not obtain emissions credits while the lawsuit was being resolved. Recognizing the importance of this project to California’s economy, environment and electric grid, the Legislature passed AB 1318, which allows the district to transfer emission credits to the project.

With the requisite emissions credits now available, CPV Sentinel will approach the California Energy Commission about final certification. Construction of the power plant is expected to begin next year.

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