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Hearings Begin On Proposed Carlsbad Power Plant

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Aired 2/1/10

Hearings to consider a new power plant along the coast in Carlsbad are scheduled to begin Monday.

Hearings are scheduled to start Monday to consider a new power plant along the coast in Carlsbad.

NRG Energy Inc. operates the Encina Power Station on the coast in Carlsbad. The company wants to build a new 558-megawatt power plant along Interstate-5 near the current plant. NRG said the new facility would produce enough power for 400,000 homes.

NRG's West Region President Steve Hoffmann said the coastal location is ideal for the proposed power plant.

"We have wires, so we have transmission lines and high-pressure gas lines that serve the site," said Hoffmann. "So the existing infrastructure that's there would be very expensive to create anywhere else. And then of course, if you try to put transmission lines in neighborhoods where they don't already exist, you're going to have somebody object to those."

Hoffmann said three of the existing plant's five generators would be retired if the new project is approved.

Julie Baker is part of a Carlsbad group that opposes the new plant.

"I believe it's an inappropriate land use to have a 550 megawatt gas-fired power plant in the front yard of 100,000 Carlsbad residents and really everyone in the north county region," said Baker.

The California Energy Commission will begin hearings to consider the project on Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom Building located at 6450 Carlsbad Blvd. Public comment begins at 6 p.m.

Another hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the same location, with public comment also at 6 p.m.

Read more about the proposed Carlsbad power plant here.

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