Pio Pico Power Plant Approved by Same Commission That Controls Fate of Quail Brush

A new peaker plant will be built near the border, similar to the plant being considered near Santee.

A proposed 300-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant near the U.S.-Mexico border was unanimously approved Wednesday by the California Energy Commission (CEC), the same body that controls the fate of a similar power plant proposed to be built near Santee.

The $300 million Pio Pico Energy Center is slated for 10 acres along Alta Road, adjacent to the Otay Mesa Generating Project. It's known as a "peaker" plant, that will kick into operation during periods of high demand on San Diego Gas & Electric's system.

"This power plant will be able to respond quickly and follow load fluctuations in the San Diego area when power demand is high," said Commissioner Carla Peterman, presiding member for the committee reviewing the project.

The committee ruled that Pio Pico will have no significant impact on the environment and complies with all applicable regulations. Construction is scheduled to start early next year, and operations are set to begin in May 2014, according to the commission.

The Quail Brush Power Project, slated for development in the hills north of Santee, would also be a peaker plant, but of smaller size, a . Community groups, , environmental groups, the and others have voiced opposition to the plant.

The project was by the San Diego Planning Commission, but the applicant has appealed to the San Diego City Council. At that meeting, the that the CEC has the ability to override local government, and has final decision over approval of the project.

Read more about the Quail Brush Power Project

-City News Service contributed to this report

Stephen Houlahan September 13, 2012 at 10:46 PM
On Monday, September 24 at 2PM, the San Diego City Council will hear the appeal by Cogentrix regarding the Quail Brush Project. By showing up and speaking out in opposition to the project, we the people can protect Mission Trails Regional Park and the surrounding communities.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) September 13, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Santee Homeowner September 25, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Cogentrix has been purchased by the Carlyle Group and interestingly CalPERS is a founding partner of the Carlyle Group, CalPERS is the California Energy Commission Pension Fund. Additionally, there are numerous energy infrastructure corporations that are associated with the SunRise PowerLink and critical to success of the Carlyle, CalPERS owned Quail Brush Power Plant, for example Brightsource, Pattern, SEMPRA and others. It's all one giant Interconnected Grid of Greed Energy Companies, private investments, California Energy Commission Pension Fund ownership and *approvals*. Maybe some letters to the U.S. Department of Justice are in order to request them to look into this. U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of California Federal Office Building 880 Front Street, Room 6293 San Diego, California 92101-8893 TEL: (619) 557-5610 Or Toll Free (800) 544-1106 FAX: (619) 546-0720
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