The La Mesa City Council heard Tuesday night from both proponents and opponents of the proposed Quail Brush Power Plant, which would be located on privately-owned land adjacent to and Santee.
The project manager, , made a presentation to the council on the benefits of the peaker plant, highlighting other plants that exist around the county. She said that the 100-megawatt plant containing 11 natural-gas powered engines, would not run 100 percent of the time.
Ziebart described for the council .
"It's like a big box storage unit," she said of the engines, which were originally designed to be 100 feet tall. "We are seeing if we can drop the stack heights to minimize visual impact. That is part of what is taking so long. We have hired a landscape architect who is very familiar with the Mission Trails area."
Ziebart also said that the plant would be designed to blend in with the surrounding background by using "undulating hills, retaining walls, and native plants."
Three opponents of the plant also spoke, including Pete Hasapopoulos of the Sierra Club.
"We don't need this power generation," he said. "Rooftop and parking lot solar has the potential to generate 7,000 megawatts. It's insulting to hear that 'when the sun doesn't shine, the lights go out.' It's ludicrous that [power plant proponents] continue to assert that."
Councilmember Sterling, who said that she has already made the decision to oppose the plant, asked the council to take action, but her fellow councilmembers were not prepared to do so.
Ewin said that he wanted to see more scientific data before making a decision one way or another. His thoughts were echoed by Madrid and Allan.
"The burden is on proponents of Quail Brush to produce the science and definitive info on what it looks like," he said.
The ongoing issue is far from completion. The on amending part of the plan on Thursday, June 28. If approved, continued environmental testing will have to be performed, and the project will have to meet the approval of the California Energy Commission before being permitted.
Check back to Santee Patch tomorrow for results of the SD Planning Commission meeting.