Pacific Gas and Electric Company Receives Energy Commission Approval for Construction and Operation of the Colusa Generating Station Environmentally friendly design employs technology to produce cleaner power
Release Date: April 23, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today received approval from the California Energy Commission to construct its Colusa Generating Station, a 660-megawatt power plant to be located near Maxwell.
"The new Colusa Generation Station reflects PG&E's commitment to meeting California's future energy needs with reliable, clean and cost-effective power," said Randy Livingston, PG&E's vice president of power generation. "Our decision to invest in state-of-the-art technologies that utilize far less water, in combination with the cleaner-burning natural gas turbines, makes this facility a cost-effective and environmentally friendly source of energy for our customers."
The natural gas-fired generating station will utilize dry cooling technology and will use 97 percent less water than a facility with a conventional water cooling system. It will also have no water discharge. Compared to older plants, the new facility will yield 35 percent less carbon dioxide for every megawatt hour of power produced.
PG&E's anticipates that construction on the project will begin this spring, with the facility scheduled to begin commercial operation in the summer of 2010. When finished, the generating facility will produce enough power to serve nearly about a half-a-million homes.
The Colusa Generating Station will be located in a rural area about 5 miles northwest of Maxwell and adjacent to an existing PG&E natural gas compressor station. The generating station and electrical switchyard will comprise 31 acres of a 100-acre parcel. The facility will be located near PG&E's existing 230,000-volt transmission line and natural gas transmission pipeline so it can easily connect to those facilities and distribute power to PG&E's customers in northern and central California.
PG&E and the Maxwell Fire Protection District have agreed to use a consultant to conduct an independent study to determine the fire department's financial needs to sufficiently serve the facility. PG&E will pay for the cost of the consultant and has agreed to advance $230,000 to the fire district. PG&E will abide by the study's recommendations or an amount agreed upon by the fire district and PG&E.
Construction of the Colusa Generating Station will involve over 1 million worker hours and will employ about 650 workers at peak construction. Local communities will benefit from the purchases of materials and services both during construction and operation of the facility. When finished, the facility will employ about 25 full-time workers and PG&E will pay in excess of $2 million in annual property tax to Colusa County the first year of full valuation.
The new generating station is part of PG&E's comprehensive energy strategy designed to meet California's future energy needs with cost-effective and clean power supplies. PG&E has a long history of developing, generating and purchasing clean energy. This year, the utility expects to supply 14 percent of its energy from renewable resources that qualify under California's renewable portfolio standard program. In addition, more than 50 percent of the electricity that PG&E delivers to customers comes from generation sources that emit no carbon dioxide.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company and additional safety tips, please visit our website at www.pge.com/about.