Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vacaville Inches Closer To Power Plant

Vacaville Inches Closer To Power Plant
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | December 11, 2007 23:08

VACAVILLE -The Vacaville City Council took the first step Tuesday to getting a power plant in four years that could add $1.7 million to city coffers once it is up and running.

Competitive Power Ventures, the company that wants to build the plant east of town, still has to convince Pacific Gas and Electric to award it a contract to build the plant.

City councilmembers helped clear the road by giving the Maryland-based company a three-year option to lease 25 acres next to the city's Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant.

'This is the exact kind of thinking we need as a city government,' said Councilman Curtis Hunt of income for the city in the form of lease payments, property taxes and selling treated wastewater to the plant that will be used to cool its generators.

'We can't just depend on city taxes,' Hunt said. 'This has great potential for us.'

Councilman Steve Wilkins talked about the blackouts of 2000 and 2001, stating that the plant 'makes good sense when it comes to energy consumption.'

Mayor Len Augustine liked the fact that treated wastewater that is presently being dumped out into a stream, can be sold to the power plant.

Competitive Power Ventures wants to build a natural gas-powered electrical plant similar to smaller power plants that are located in Fairfield and Suisun City.

The firm wants the lease now so it can be ready with a proposal when PG&E issues a request for proposals early in 2008 to a build a plant in this area.

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

Fairfield has one natural gas-powered, 48-megawatt power plant and Suisun City has three which are 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.

DG Power International of Walnut Creek wants to build a plant capable of generating between 200 and 500 megawatts in Fairfield. It is also applying to PG&E for approvals.

In other business, the council approved buying a 1.5-acre site on the south side of Orange Drive for a future fire station to provide better fire protection for northeast Vacaville.

Councilmembers lauded landowner Billy Yarbrough who declared half the $622,643 cost of the land to be a donation to the city and asked that the balance be used as a credit to be used whenever nearby Yarbrough Trust land is developed.

'We are so respectful for what he has done for this city,' Augustine said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or

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