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Utility Regulators Suggest That Quail Brush Power Plant is Not Needed

Draft decisions by utility commissioners deny construction of the plant- a final vote is coming soon.

Two draft decisions released last week suggest that Quail Brush Power Plant won't be given the green light for construction in the hills adjacent to Mission Trails and Santee.

Two members of the California Public Utilities Commission, the group charged with final approval decisions for the power plant, released proposed rulings (see attached PDFs) which deny the construction of the natural gas powered Quail Brush Generation Project.

The decision isn't final until the CPUC votes on the issue, and draft decisions can still be amended. The final vote has yet to be scheduled, but is at least a month away.

If either of these drafts are voted in, it would put a stop to the 20-year power purchase agreement lined up by San Diego Gas & Electric and Quail Brush in anticipation of future regional energy needs.

Both commissioners found that the application for the new plant came too soon, as there will not be a local energy capacity requirement need until at least 2018, despite the nearly year-long outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Neither commissioner ruled out the possibility that a renewed application for Quail Brush could be approved at a later date.

Jeff Kahn with Save Mission Trails, a group that has been at the forefront of the fight against the plant, told East County Magazine that they were encouraged by the statement, but would continue to inform the community about the project proposed on the doorstep of San Diego's largest urban park.

In the draft decision by California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron, he wrote:

"This decision denies authority to enter into purchase power tolling agreements with Pio Pico Energy Center and Quail Brush Power."

In arguments for the Quail Brush Project it had been suggested that the "peaker plant" was needed to fill in gaps of energy production from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Ferron rejected this argument, and said the commission has no evidence that further energy sources were needed to "support renewable resources integration."

These draft decisions come after the San Diego Planning Commission and City Council voted to deny zoning changes for the plant and amidst opposition by the City of Santee, numerous environmental organizations, school districts, and grassroots efforts.

Though the California Energy Commission is still considering the Quail Brush application, the power purchase agreement with SDG&E won't be valid without approval by the CPUC.

Read more at UT San Diego and East County Magazine

PwmCwzy November 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM
California Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron, wrote "the commission has no evidence that further energy sources were needed to "support renewable resources integration." Great Job Everyone! Sometimes it works!
Sandy December 06, 2012 at 03:11 AM
You - the public - have power! The CPUC said so!! And you can continue to put the pressure on the CEC and CPUC to make sure this bad idea - a gas power plant in a high-fire zone and alongside Mission Trails Park and Santee schools - is a complete no-go. We won't rest until that happens. If you haven't emailed a letter of opposition yet, there's still time. Easy instructions are on the Save Mission Trails website Email Activism tab: http://savemissiontrails.org/email-activism/ Thank you!
Retha Knight December 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Write the CPUC! All ratepayers will be stuck with the bill for something we don't even need! The Cogentrix lobbyist are probably very busy especially now that they have their “new design” with their two clusters of the ELEVEN 70 foot smokestacks! Well guess what? KNOWLEDGE IS TRULY POWER! The END to agency and public comments to the CEC is quickly approaching! Write a short letter of opposition if you truly care about the Health and quality of life of of our children and your community. Go to: SaveMissionTrails.org
Retha Knight January 02, 2013 at 03:41 AM
"Despite the nearly year-long outage at the SONGS the Quail Brush Power Plant is not needed to fill in gaps of energy production from renewable sources such as wind and solar. There is no evidence that further energy sources are needed to "support renewable resources integration." Cogentrix keeps telling us that this TOXIC power plant is needed. Not True! KNOWLEDGE IS TRULY POWER, GET THE FACTS! Read the rulings for yourself then send a letter to the CPUC and copy the CEC. Your rates will go up as as Cogentrix and SDG&E reap their profits and forever destroy the enjoyment of our beautiful Mission Trails Regional Park. Go to the Save Mission Trails website Email Activism tab: http://savemissiontrails.org/email-activism/ Thank you!
Retha Knight January 05, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Express your support for the Proposed Decision of Administrative Law Judge Yacknin and the Alternate Proposed Decision by Commissioner Ferron to deny a power purchase agreement for the Quail Brush project. Urge the Commission to formalize the recommendation of these decisions and vote to officially deny a power purchase agreement for this TOXIC power plants! The Calfornia Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to make a ruling next week and they will take public comments right up to January 10. Go to the Save Mission Trails website Email Activism tab: http://savemissiontrails.org/email-activism/ Thank you!

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