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February 10, 2010 > Air District approves landmark permit for Hayward power plant

Air District approves landmark permit for Hayward power plant

Submitted By Kristine Roselius

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the Bay Area, approved a federal permit for the proposed Russell City Energy Center power plant in Hayward on February 3. It is the first in the nation to have limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

"In developing this permit, Calpine will go beyond existing federal law and become the first power plant in the country to accept enforceable limits on greenhouse gases," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "This permit is the most stringent the Air District has ever issued."

Using the most advanced emissions-control technology available, the Russell City Energy Center will be an energy-efficient supplier of electricity to the Bay Area. Combined-cycle plants like the Energy Center are generally much cleaner than older plants in operation.

The Air District is issuing this Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Permit approval comes after a lengthy public engagement process, during which the Air District received extensive input from environmental organizations and local community members and amended the permit to address their concerns. The resulting permit is more stringent and will include the tightest emission limits of any power plant in the Bay Area.

Houston-based Russell City Energy Company, LLC, a Calpine Corporation affiliate, plans to build a 600-megawatt, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant at 3862 Depot Road, Hayward.

The proposed power plant would consist of two combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam boilers, a steam turbine generator and associated equipment, a wet cooling system and a diesel fire pump. The approved permit includes the Air District's requirement that the power plant be equipped with state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment, including selective catalytic reduction and oxidation catalysts. The facility will also use 100-percent reclaimed water from the City of Hayward's Water Pollution Control Facility for cooling and will convert it to steam for electricity production.

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