Permitting milestone: PSA issued for HECA project

California Energy Comission MEDIA ADVISORY

Preliminary staff assessment released for planned Hydrogen Energy California project

Sacramento – The staff of the California Energy Commission today released the first part of the preliminary staff assessment (PSA) for the proposed 250-megawatt Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project in western Kern County.

When: Today, Tuesday, August, 31, 2010.

Where: The PSA is available at:

What: In Part One of the PSA released today, Commission staff concluded that with the implementation of recommended mitigation measures described in the proposed conditions of certification, the proposed project will not have significant adverse direct, indirect or cumulative environmental impacts in the areas of air quality, efficiency, facility design, geology and paleontology, hazardous materials, noise and vibration, public health, reliability, socioeconomic resources, traffic & transportation, transmission line safety nuisance, transmission safety engineering, worker safety and fire protection.

The areas of biological resources, cultural resources, soil and water resources, visual resources, land use, and waste management will be addressed in Part Two of the PSA, which is scheduled for release in early October. Part Two will also include an analysis of the project alternatives and the greenhouse gas emissions appendix, which will include an analysis of the carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery and the sequestration proposal.

The PSA serves as the staff’s initial evaluation of the environmental, engineering, and public health and safety impacts of the proposed facility. There will be a public comment period and a community workshop on the document. After both parts of the PSA are issued, a final staff assessment (FSA) will be released. The FSA will serve as staff’s testimony at the evidentiary hearings by the committee of two commissioners reviewing the proposed project.

Why: The HECA project, proposed by Hydrogen Energy International, LLC, is an integrated gasification combined cycle power plant that will capture and permanently store 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions.

The proposed facility will be located on a 473-acre site currently used for agricultural purposes. The project site is located approximately seven miles west of Bakersfield near the town of Tupman. The site is near a hydrocarbon-producing area known as Elk Hills Field.

The HECA project will gasify petroleum coke, or blends of petroleum coke and coal as needed, to produce hydrogen to fuel a combustion turbine operating in combined cycle mode. The hydrogen is used to generate electricity. The carbon dioxide is compressed and piped to the neighboring oil reservoirs and injected for storage to enhance oil recovery.

If licensed by the Energy Commission, the facility would begin construction in December 2011 with commercial operation starting September 2015.

More information on the proposed project is here:

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