Monday, May 31, 2010

California to be the site of the first power plant with federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions

California usually leads the nation in some sort of trend. It is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product; (and will probably be the first the first state reach a trillion dollars in debt); the first state to institute tough automobile pollution controls; and the first state to legalize marijuana. Now California will be the nation’s first state to host a power plant with federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions. On February 4, Calpine Corporation received approval to build the 600MW Russell City Energy Center to be located in the City of Hayward in Alameda County, CA. Construction is slated for later this year.
The combined-cycle plant will be powered by a cleaner burning natural gas that will produce 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than even the most advanced coal-fired plants and 25 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the standard set by the California Public Utilities Commission.
California’s Governor Schwarzenegger has set an aggressive goal that, by 2020, 33 percent of California utilities' power will be generated by renewable sources and statewide greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by 15 percent from current levels another California first.
The California Energy Commission granted a license for the plant in September 2007, and the California Public Utilities Commission approved a 10-year power purchase agreement in April 2009 under which PG&E will purchase the electricity generated by the plant.
The Russell City project is jointly owned by Calpine Corporation, which holds a 65 percent equity interest and serves as development manager, and an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services, which holds a 35 percent equity interest.

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