There was a strong turnout of Anaheim residents and businesses at tonight’s OC Water District Board of Directors meeting in Fountain Valley to speak against a proposal by Competitive Power Ventures to build a 400-600MW power plant next on a site sandwiched between the Santa Ana River and the Anaheim Auto Center, next to Ball Road.
Approximately 150 people showed up, around 30 or so of whom took turns at the podium voicing their opposition to building a power plant at that location. Most of the speakers favored the City of Anaheim’s proposal to build a sports park on the same site:
The turnout of this size is rare at an OCWD Board meeting; afterward, one director was overheard saying he’d never seen this many people at a meeting during his tenure on the board.
A few of the 10 members of the Board of Directors cautioned the audience that this was only an initial step, and that they weren’t making a decision on whether there should be a power plant on the Ball Road Basin site. Given that early next month, the OCWD Board will indeed vote on whether to lease the site to CPV for the purpose of building a power plant, such rhetoric struck some in attendance as a distinction without a difference.
OCWD Director Phil Anthony stated that he would never vote to lease the site for this proposal unless “it was supported by the City of Anaheim and the residents of Anaheim.” He, along with Director Kay Barr, expressed some dismay that due to the nature of the permitting process, if OCWD does lease the site to CPV, the energy company could bypass the city approval process altogether and go straight to the California Energy Commission for approval.
CPV’s pursuit of this site is driven by an extant Edison RFP for (if memory serves correctly) 1400MW of power generation. The RFP deadline is December 12, so CPV needs a decision from the OCWD befiore then in order to submit a bid using the Ball Road Basin site.
CPV has retained a brigade of public affairs talent, and last night polled Anaheim residents to test messaging – presumably for use in pro-power plant mail pieces.