A committee of the California Energy Commission today recommended approval of a new 940-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant in Huntington Beach to replace an aging facility that's been offline since 2013. The committee's presiding member, Commissioner Andrew McAllister, and Commissioner Karen Douglas, determined the plant would not have significant impacts on the environment.
The public has 30 days to comment on the decision, and a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17 in Sacramento. The full commission may accept, reject or change the committee's recommendations at an Oct. 7 meeting.
AES Southland Development has proposed the plant to replace the AES Huntington Beach Generating Station. The plan calls for demolishing the existing 1960s-era plant and building the new one in phases with the first unit completed in about 30 months. AES also owns power plants in Alamitos and Redondo Beach.
The commissioners' Proposed Decision finds that the new unit will be more energy efficient and generate less pollution than the plant it would replace. The new plant would use air for cooling rather than seawater, reducing potential risk to marine life.