PG&E's Colusa Generating Station Begins Commercial Operation New 660 Megawatt Facility Serves More than 500,000 Homes
Release Date: December 22, 2010
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
MAXWELL, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today that the Colusa Generating Station near the town of Maxwell in Colusa County has begun commercial operation and is providing electricity to the utility's Northern and Central Californian customers. The facility, which generates enough energy to meet the needs of more than half a million average homes, incorporates the latest technology and environmental design to reduce emissions and dramatically lower water usage compared to conventional natural gas power plants.
"The Colusa Generating Station is producing some of the cleanest electricity available from natural gas," said Randy Livingston, vice president of power generation for PG&E. "The project is a prime example of how PG&E continues to pursue the cleanest resources and technology available to meet the energy needs of our customers."
Cleaner-burning and more efficient facilities will allow the Colusa Generating Station to use less fuel and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide than older power plants and use 97 percent less water than plants with conventional water cooling systems. Moreover, the plant is designed to reduce its power output when renewable energy sources like wind and solar become available, aiding with the integration of these resources into the state's power mix.
Construction of the 660-megawatt facility broke ground on November 19, 2008. At the peak, about 800 people worked on the project and provided a boost to the local economy. PG&E also hosted forums to help local businesses learn how to supply goods and services to the construction project. PG&E has hired 27 full-time employees to operate and maintain the facility.
The Colusa Generating Station is a key component in PG&E's comprehensive energy strategy to meet California's future energy needs with cost-effective and clean power supplies. The strategy relies on an aggressive expansion of customer energy efficiency and demand-side management programs and looks to secure additional renewable power resources before seeking to meet the remainder of customers' energy needs through efficient traditional generation resources.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), 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, visit www.pge.com/about/newsroom.