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Plug Pulled On San Diego Power Plant

Capital Power is tabling its plan to build a power plant in University City for now.

The natural gas power plant is being proposed on land near Interstate 805 and Nobel Drive. Voters would have needed to approve the lease of the land to the Canadian power company. The City Council’s Rules Committee was scheduled to discuss on Wednesday whether to put the issue on the November ballot.

Plug Pulled On San Diego Power Plant
The plug has been pulled for now on a possible power plant in University City. But the project may resurface in the future.

Capital Power Letter
A letter from Capital Power to Mayor Jerry Sanders explaining the company won't pursue a 2012 ballot measure.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

In a letter to the mayor’s office, the company said it has decided not to pursue a 2012 ballot initiative. And it requests the item be pulled from the committee's agenda.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner represents University City. She said she believes there would not have been enough votes on the City Council for the issue to be placed on the November ballot. Lightner said the community is outraged the plant was proposed for that location.

“In particular because it is designated open space in the community plan,” she said. “It is Pueblo land. It is very, very close to parks, recreation, libraries, schools.”

The plant would also be located at the end of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar runway.

Republican Ray Ellis is running against Lightner for her City Council seat. He is also opposed to the project. The two will face off in November.


But just because there won’t be a vote this fall doesn’t mean the project is dead. In its letter to the mayor, Capital Power said it will begin a public outreach campaign with the goal of putting it to a vote in a future election.

A city staff report on the proposal said the location is ideal because it’s close to a water treatment plant, in an industrial area and on land the city isn’t otherwise using. The report said San Diego would get revenue from the plant’s property taxes and by selling reclaimed water to power plant operators. The city may also get more than $1 million dollars a year in rent from the lease of the land if the plant is ultimately approved.

The University City Planning Group's special meeting to discuss the issue will go on as planned tonight at 6 at the UTC Mall.