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Carlsbad Group Opposes Encina Power Plant Expansion

The operators of the Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad want to modernize the facility, but a group of Carlsbad residents is against the project.

NRG Energy has applied to the California Energy Commission to replace three existing steam boiler units with a new, more efficient, 558-megawatt plant.

NRG said the new facility will provide electricity to about 450,000 homes and will use air-cooled condensers instead of ocean water for its cooling requirements.

Julie Baker leads a Carlsbad group that opposes the plan. "Power plants don't need ocean water for cooling any longer so there's no compelling reason to use valuable, dwindling coastal resources for an industrial use such as a power plant," said Baker.

NRG said emissions from the new plant will be well below California's new greenhouse gas standard. The company said the San Diego Air Pollution Control District determined last year that the proposed facility would meet all ambient air quality standards.

State energy commission staff have recommended approving the project. Hearings on the proposal are scheduled for February 1 in Carlsbad.

NRG Energy said, pending permit approvals, the plant could be operating by 2013.

The company also said the project would create 350 construction jobs in the San Diego region.

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Avatar for user 'siekmann'

siekmann | January 12, 2010 at 1:28 p.m. ― 7 years, 2 months ago

NRG is not tearing down the old Encina plant. They are only shutting down the three smallest boilers while running the two largest boilers. Then NRG plans to build a second power plant - a 139 ft. tall very industrial plant that will sit right next to the widened I-5. Aside from the blighted view, the Carlsbad Fire Department has grave safety concerns about the proposed plant as stated in their testimony to the California Energy Commission. If approved, it would sit closer to a major highway that anywhere else in the country. This is just not a safe place for a major power plant, right next to a major freeway. Not in this day and age.

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Avatar for user 'c01gen'

c01gen | January 12, 2010 at 2:03 p.m. ― 7 years, 2 months ago

Siekmann is obviously not gone to any of the many hearings or read the information that NRG Energy has sent to the community or the PUC regarding the proposed Encina Power plant repowering plans.
1. While the new tower will be 139 feet, it's base will be below the current level so the overall visual impact will be much lower.
2. The new plant will replace less energy efficient engines so pollutant levels will be reduced. Why would you want to keep a less efficient plant that despite best efforts, is putting out higher levels of pollutants just because the units are so old, especially when the problem can be fixed and the owners are willing to spend the money to fix it?
3. The transportation dept does not seem to have any problems with this siting, nor does the CPUC.
4. If the power plant were shut down - where would people in the north county get their power? Who would fund taking the land required to put up new transmission towers? And how long would it take to get all the permits required to build a new plant, even if you had the land and the infrastructure in place.
The power plant has the zoning, the infrastructure, and an owner willing to do what needs to be done to modernize. When are the people of Carlsbad going to recognize they have a power plant in the neighborhood and accept it as a good neighbor?

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Avatar for user 'siekmann'

siekmann | January 12, 2010 at 3:04 p.m. ― 7 years, 2 months ago

1) The new tower will go into a 30 ft. pit. Therefore, the plant will rise 109 ft. into the air. The visual impacts will be enormous.
2) Air pollution is going to increase 10 fold over what it has been in the last few years. Go to the Air Pollution Control District and get the facts.
3) There is a letter from Caltrans docketed with the California Energy Commission discussing the problems associated with the proposed plant and the I-5 widening.
4) Check with SDG&E. There is no contract with them for the power from the proposed plant. If SDG&E hasn't given them a contract for the power, it can be sold elsewhere and we get all the pollution.

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Avatar for user 'CaresAboutCarlsbad'

CaresAboutCarlsbad | January 12, 2010 at 3:07 p.m. ― 7 years, 2 months ago

co1gen is misinformed. The stacks will be visible 139 feet high above ground. The project will be very very visible when I-5 is widened since the trees and berm will be removed. If people in North County were in danger of losing power why won't SDGE sign a contract with NRG for the output? We don't need the power output from the new project. The plant will be here, but the power will be sold elsewhere. There is NO benefit to Carlsbad or North County to have this new project. Only pollution, blight, and 60 more years of UGLY!

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Avatar for user 'gemivy'

gemivy | May 24, 2011 at 2:02 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

Look at this as being the front runner in whole nation a leader in porviding Energy. And the Job's. Huge, Huge, Huge,

At the meetings that I have attended the pitch is how on:
Unsafe, polution, medical threats, real estate values decline and so on.

The bottom line was the Esthetic not pleasing.
There was so much drama and all boiled down to the White Elephant.
Okay make it look like a Resort. After all.
So called THE CITY of CARLSBAD governing council says they dont back it.
Think about it. Of course not. Parcel it out and Tax dollar revenue.
They have in the last 18 yrs. Carlsbad trains station property, Ponto Beach and more.
They are selling as OPEN SPACE for everyone. JOKE! JOKE! JOKE!
Anything can be amended. Timeshare, Condos, Exclusive Homes & Shoping
and Yes an other Golf Course. Right on the coast. For all that 2 to 3 cars more per unit. Let alone staff and shop keepers. More parking, cars and people.
You would not see the coast as you see today. Think about it.

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