Friday, December 07, 2007

Vacaville Considers Deal For Power Plant

Vacaville Considers Deal For Power Plant
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | December 06, 2007 14:14

VACAVILLE - Vacaville may get a power plant in four years that is designed to provide electricity during periods of high demand.

The city is considering giving Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures a three-year option to lease 25 acres next to the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant, Vacaville Public Works Director Dale Pfeiffer said.

Competitive Power Ventures wants to build a natural gas-powered electrical plant similar to but larger than four power plants that are located in Fairfield and Suisun City. These plants are called peaker plants because they operate only during periods of high electrical demand.

The Vacaville City Council is expected to vote on whether to give Competitive Power Ventures that option at its meeting Tuesday night.

Competitive Power Ventures needs the option in order to be ready with a proposal when PG&E issues a request for proposals early in 2008 to a build a plant in this area.

If the plant is built, Vacaville could get as much as $1.7 million in revenue in lease payments, property taxes and selling treated wastewater to the plant that will be used to cool its generators, Vacaville finance head Ken Campo said.

The income will offset the costs of running the Easterly wastewater treatment plant.

'It will help the city government, and it will help the ratepayer,' Pfeiffer said.

If Competitive Power Venture gets the nod from PG&E and approvals from state agencies, construction could begin in 2010 with the plant coming on line in 2012.

Vacaville will be the third community in Solano County to build peaker power plants if this happens.

Fairfield has one natural gas-powered, 48-megawatt power plant on Cordelia Road, not far from the Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District's water treatment plant. Suisun City has the Lambie, Creed and Goose Haven power plants, all capable of generating as much as 47 megawatts.

All these plants were built in 2003 by Calpine Corp. under contract with the state to prevent rolling blackouts that occurred in 2000 and 2001.

In August, DG Power International of Walnut Creek approached the Fairfield City Council to build a larger gas-powered plant capable of generating between 200 and 500 megawatts. DG Power is presently working with Fairfield city staff and applying to PG&E for approvals.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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