Quail Brush Addresses Dale's Power Plant Concerns

"We recognize that there are concerns about the project, and we are working hard to address these issues."

Submitted by Lori Ziebart, Quail Brush Generation Project Manager, in response to Jack Dale's Letter to the Editor, "Considering Quail Brush."

Recently, Council Member Jack Dale in his made several suggestions for the Quail Brush Generation Project (“Project”) sponsors to consider.  We appreciate his input as well as the many comments, concerns and questions that have been posted by others to our website (www.quailbrush.com), the Santee Patch, and raised in . 

We realize some of these comments have mischaracterized the Project, and therefore we are regularly meeting with stakeholders as well as updating our website to ensure those interested in learning more about Quail Brush have factual information upon which to make an informed decision on our Project.  

We are also providing information to the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) and other governmental bodies as more issues are raised and as we move further along in the permitting process. Additionally, technical information about the Project, including responses to specific data requests posed by the CEC, can be found on the CEC website at www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/quailbrush/index.html

As to Council Member Dale’s specific concerns, we offer the following response ():

For background purposes, the proposed Quail Brush Generation Project is the result of the SDG&E 2009 competitive request for offers (“RFO”). This RFO was specifically directed at providing system support needed to help achieve SDG&E’s renewable portfolio goals established in 2002 under Senate Bill 1078. 

To be awarded the opportunity to negotiate a contract with SDG&E, the plant must prove itself to be cost effective to the people and businesses that use the electricity it provides and to the California Public Utility Commission, the agency which determines whether the contract is in the best interest of all parties. 

As to the site we selected, in addition to its proximity to existing electric transmission corridors and an existing natural gas transmission pipeline, it was chosen because preliminary studies showed it had the lowest biological, cultural, air quality and transportation impacts on the surrounding community.  

Additionally, proximity to areas that demand electricity (load centers) is also important and the site chosen provides a balance between infrastructure and demand. The CEC, during its detailed and robust review process, will examine the proposed project site and Quail Brush will adhere to the recommendations resulting from this review process.

As to the issue of how often the plant will run, Quail Brush, under its permit obligations, will be prohibited from running 100 percent of the time.  It will be operated as a peaking facility, called into service only during peak demand times or when there is a need for rapid delivery of electricity because other sources, particularly solar and wind resources, are not immediately available.  

Additionally, the contract executed with SDG&E will only allow the Project to operate 3,800 hours per year (approximately 43 percent of the total hours in a year).  

Cogentrix Energy, LLC, the parent company of Quail Brush Genco, LLC, strictly adheres to permit conditions and requirements and takes these obligations very seriously as failure to comply with all permit requirements will result in significant penalties and plant shut down.

Quail Brush will provide Santee, San Diego and the surrounding communities reliable power when they need it most and will help California meet its renewable energy goals by allowing more wind and to be added to the grid.

As to the potential impact the Project may have on the health of local residents, Quail Brush has been designed to strictly comply with all state and federal air emission requirements.  Air quality standards are set by the California Air Resources Board, the Air Pollution Control District (“APCD”), and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) to assure the protection of human health and the environment. 

Plant emissions are currently being examined by the CEC in its review process as well as by the APCD and USEPA.  To ensure ongoing accurate measurements, the plant will be equipped with a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System to verify that emissions are at or below permitted values to prevent adverse health impacts to surrounding residents.  Failure to comply with state and federal emission requirements will result in significant penalties and possible shut-down of the power plant.

We are committed to protecting the health and safety of the communities we serve, and the CEC’s rigorous and public review process will ensure that these commitments are honored and kept. 

Cogentrix has a long history of responsible development and commitment to the communities it serves, and we are applying these same principles here. 

We recognize that there are concerns about the Project, and we are working hard to address these issues. It is our belief that using factual information to make an informed decision is in the best interest of everyone and will help make the best long-term decision for this important project.


Lori Ziebart

Project Manager

Quail Brush Generation Project

Motivated Santee Citizen April 16, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Anything that makes the surrounding property values decline is obviously not a suitable project for it's proposed location. Find a more suitable location for this power plant is all most of us ask.
Kathy April 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM
All it is, is more of Cogentrix B.S. These people don't give a crap about anybody in Santee, all they care about is their profit line. They claim they will monitor it, we can't even get the Government at Federal or State level to monitor San Onofre properly, you think they can monitor this legitimately. Heck no, the Monitors can be rigged to show whatever they want it to show. So they aren't suppose to run 100% of the time. Now that's funny, they didn't say anything about 99.9% of the time. Everyone in Santee better wake up and fight because this is not ONLY a HEALTH HAZARD, more UTILITY GREED but a significant decline in property value. West Hills High School Parents better be ready to fight as well. Of course, if they don't mind their children participating in PE, Sports or any other outside activity next to a Health Hazard Pollutant Power Plant, then you can relax. What is it going to take? I agree, it will be a very hard fight and we may even lose but at least we will know we, our Mayor and City Council did everything they could even if we spend every cent we have. By not having this Power Plants means Black Outs, which I doubt, so be it. It is time for everyone to cut back. How many times do you go into a store or restaurant and complain it's cold, plenty of times for me, that's for sure. It is time for Santee to put their foot down and say " NOT IN OUR BACKYARD ".
Inverness Rd Resident April 17, 2012 at 01:13 AM
• Lori - And this statement shows how disconnected you and Goldman Sachs is from the 99%. We care about the people's health and welfare, do you really think we would sacrifice the health of our children to your Corporate Greed! Your statement below of being cost effective does not matter, what matters is our health. Take your contaminates to your neighborhood. "To be awarded the opportunity to negotiate a contract with SDG&E, the plant must prove itself to be cost effective to the people" • Lori - Your statement "As to the issue of how often the plant will run, Quail Brush, under its permit obligations, will be prohibited from running 100 percent of the time." is quite mis-leading. Are you saying it can be run 99% or how about 98% of the time..Permits can alway be modified. Santee stands against this project, it doesn't belong in anybody's backyard! Santee Resident
Sandy April 17, 2012 at 04:46 AM
NO. Grading our hills and allowing open space to become industrial-zoned at our beautiful Mission Trails Park, polluting our air already burdened with emissions from the landfill and heavy traffic upwind, dropping our property values-already happening as word of this gets out, making us dependent on natural gas from who-knows-where at who-knows-what-cost to other communities....this is not addressing our issues. The well-being of our Santee community is not for sale for Goldman Sachs/CoGentrix. shareholders. Santee fight back! Go to stopthesanteepowerplant.org, be informed, do your own research, don't be fooled.
rudy reyes April 17, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Lori this whole letter was waist of time! You said nothing your site doesn't say! Seems like just regurgitation of pointlessness! Lori didn't a a single new fact or help citizens feel any better! Stop blowing smoke up our @$$#$
Sleepless in Santee April 17, 2012 at 06:39 PM
As I recall when our last black out accured this plant would not have helped us in that situation. I also recall having a wonderful time without TV, lights, or computers. We went outside talked to our neighbors had a bar b que and enjoyed eating our dinner by candle light. I'm talking about a Townhome project full of people. Sounds a lot better than breathing poisonous gas. Buy a generator people. This is a bad idea all around. Stand up NOW and say no to this atrocity.
MJ Martin April 18, 2012 at 12:03 AM
And what happens to our local Quail (birds) and their brush? Great name for the wrong project. MJ
Retha Knight April 18, 2012 at 06:04 AM
According to the application for certification, the power plant is projected to operate up to 3,800 hrs per year (or approximately at 43% of the time). The projected EAF (equivalent availability factor), based on the SDG&E PPA, is estimated to exceed 98 percent in the summer months (June-September), and exceed 94 percent in the non-summer months. During these times the power plant can operate 7 days per week, 24 hr per day. So during peak times those 11-100 ft smokestacks with 11- 9.3 MW Warsilla reciprocating engines can spew out Toxic Air Pollutants!
Retha Knight April 18, 2012 at 06:37 AM
I don't need the APCD, USEPA or the CEC to tell me how much Toxic Air I should breathe. This plant is not being evaluated at 100% as it should be! It will have a negative effect anyone using Mission Trails Regional Park, surrounding communities, West Hills High students, my neighbors and on myself. We are already suffering the effects of the sound and air pollution from the 52 and 125! We already have our "fair share" of pollution. This INDUSTRIAL power plant does not belong on the border of Mission Trails Regional Park or any surrounding communities!
Motivated Santee Citizen April 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Friday, April 20 5-7pm Mission Gorge Rd. & Jackson Dr. intersection Bring a sign (“Save Mission Trails” or the like) or borrow one of ours. Still so many San Diego and Santee citizens are unaware of the travesty unfolding; help put a STOP to the power plant. Park at MTRP Visitor Center – check gate signs first – or street parking off Echo Dell Rd., etc. Click for map.
Margie Logue April 23, 2012 at 06:49 AM
At the Quail-Brush site, a concern of Kevin Brewster was answered by a QB rep saying the they performed air quality readings every hour of every day for 3 years at a location near the proposed site. The site they measured air quality was in Kearny Mesa, Overland Ave. That site is over some hills from Santee and close enough to the ocean to get the off shore winds. The air there in no way resembles that of Santee. I hope the CEC realizes this deception before they make their judgement.
Joe Spencer May 03, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Be sure to read the latest story about the Quail Brush project and how they are now contributing money to Mission Trails.... http://santee.patch.com/articles/letter-to-editor-mission-trails-day-flyer-reveals-shocking-sponsor
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