EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
ADVANCES PLANS FOR NEW PLANT TO SERVE WESTERN POWER MARKETS
(Phoenix, Ariz.)- PG&E Corporation
(NYSE:PCG) moved an important step closer to the construction of
a new electric generating plant in the power-starved western U.S.
with the unanimous approval of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
for a Special Use Permit for the Harquahala Generating Project.
The 1,040-megawatt natural gas-fired plant will be located in western
Maricopa County, Arizona. The permit allows the generating facility
to be constructed and to operate.
"The approval of the Special
Use Permit by the Board of Supervisors moves us closer to building
a much-needed source of clean and cost-competitive energy," said
Thomas B. King, president and chief operating officer, for PG&E
Corporation's National Energy Group, West Region.
In June, the Arizona Corporation
Commission unanimously approved the Certificate of Environmental
Compatibility. Then, in July, the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning
Commission recommended approval of the Special Use Permit. The project
now awaits issuance of a water quality permit and a county air quality
permit, as well as approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management
for an Environmental Assessment.
"We're in an excellent position
to begin construction before year-end," said King. The plant is
scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2003.
Several residents from Harquahala
Valley testified in support of the Project, including landowners
and community leaders. Randy Long, Harquahala Valley Fire Chief,
told Supervisors, "I've visited a similar plant in Oregon, twice,
and I was impressed with its operation, cleanliness and concern
The plant will use a zero
liquid discharge system to minimize water consumption and the creation
of wastewater. This system treats and recycles the water more than
300 times. Harquahala Generating also will limit visual impacts
of the plant through reduced lighting, and color schemes, as well
as visually screening the plant with an approved landscaping plan.
The Harquahala Generating
Project is expected to generate about $8 to $10 million annually
in local property taxes. An average of 340 construction jobs will
be created during the two-year construction period, and when complete,
the facility will employ about 35 full-time employees.
PG&E Corporation, with 1999
revenues of nearly $21 billion and operations in 21 states, markets
energy services and products throughout North America through its
National Energy Group. The Corporation has ownership and management
interests in more than 30 power plants, and has one of the largest
energy trading and risk management programs in North America.