EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
BREAKS GROUND ON CALIFORNIA'S LARGEST COMPETITIVE POWER PLANT
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- PG&E
Corporation’s National Energy Group broke ground Wednesday for construction
of the La Paloma Generating Plant, a 1,048-megawatt electric generating
facility. The plant, which is planned for commercial operation in
the summer of 2001, will be the largest ever built in California
specifically to compete in the state’s wholesale competitive power
marks a further step in the execution of our strategy to build a
strong electric generating capability in key competitive energy
markets, including Southern California and the Southwest,?said
Thomas G. Boren, executive vice president of PG&E Corporation and
president and CEO of the Corporation’s National Energy Group. “La
Paloma and the additional plants we are developing in this region
will provide much-needed sources of clean, cost-competitiveimages/news/newsd
create a solid foundation for our National Energy Group to serve
the growing wholesale markets in this region.?/span>
Boren said the images/news/newsactively
working to develop new facilities near San Diego and Phoenix, together
representing an additional 1,500 megawatts of capacity scheduled
to come on line in 2002 and 2003.
Power from the La Paloma
facility and, eventually, other National Energy Group plants in
the region will be sold to wholesale power customers through the
Company’s energy commodities trading operations, which are among
the most active in the nation. Wholesale customers, which include
traditional utilities, municipal utility districts, electric cooperatives
and power traders, will in turn sell the power to retail consumers.
According to PG&E Corporation,
the facility will not only meet market demands for new power, it
will achieve unprecedented levels of environmental performance.
The plant’s four highly efficient, natural gas-fueled combined-cycle
turbines are designed to minimize environmental impacts. The plant
design utilizes the best emission control technology available,
including selective catalytic reduction for NOX control, making
La Paloma Generating one of the cleanest fossil-fueled generating
stations ever built.
In addition, as part of
its environmental mitigation program for the facility, PG&E Corporation
has permanently set aside 270 acres of land for conservation.
Approved for construction
by the California Energy Commission in October 1999, the La Paloma
Generating Plant is being built on an old oil field site approximately
40 miles west of Bakersfield near McKittrick in western Kern County.
The project is expected
to generate $42 million in economic benefits to the county over
the next decade. More than 700 jobs will be created during the construimages/news/newse
project, and when complete, the La Paloma Generating Plant will
employ about 40 people on a full-time basis.
“This project adds tremendous
economic value to our community, not just during construction, but
over the long term,?said Ken Peterson, chairman of the Kern County
Board of Supervisors. “Throughout the siting of the project, PG&E
Corporation demonstrated a commitment to working with the local
community to achieve our common objectives for economic development
and environmental stewardship.?/span>
During the groundbreaking
ceremony, PG&E Corporation presented the McKittrick School District
with a check for $91,500. The funds will be used for landscaping
and other facility improvements at the school, as well as acquisition
of new instructional materials. PG&E Corporation also will finance
the purchase of a new fire engine for the Kern County Fire Department
by advancing payment of property taxes for the plant. The new truck
will be based in Taft and will serve the western side of the county,
“We are tremendously grateful
to the many individuals, at both the state and local levels, who
worked with us during the siting of this project,?Boren said. “We
have built a partnership that ultimately will produce a clean, efficient
power plant that will generate much needed electric supplies as
well as economic value to the local community.?/span>
ABB ALSTROM POWER Inc. is
the turnkey contractor for the project, responsible for design and
engineering work, procurement of equipment, management of subcontractors,
and the actual construction of the facility. Other major prime contractors
are Par Electric, W.M. Lyles Co. and Resources Conservation Company.
With revenues of almost
$20 billion, $33 billion in assets and operations in 21 states,
PG&E Corporation markets energy services and products throughout
North America through its National Energy Group. The Corporation
has ownership and management interest in more than 30 power plants.
The Corporation’s electric utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company,
serves customers in Northern California.