Bad News for Proposed Ball Road Basin Power Plant

I’ve posted previously on a proposal by Competitive Power Ventures to lease the Ball Road basin from the Orange County Water District in order to build a 400 megawatt, natural gas-fueled power plant. The site is adjacent to the Santa Ana River and the Anaheim Auto Center and near residential neighborhoods and office parks.

CPV wants to lease the Ball Road Basin in order to submit it as a power generation site in response to a Request-for-Offers issued by Southern California Edison (SCE), seeking new power generation projects. The rapidity with which the OC Water District has moved on this unsolicited offer from CPV is driven by the RFO’s December 12 deadline.

A recent development that the media has missed bodes ill for CPV’s plan. SCE released a map to guide bidders like CPV as to the value of potential power plant locations:

SCE power map

Click here for the PDF of the full map with legend.

This is bad news for CPV.

For purposes of SCE’s evaluation of the locations of proposed power plants, the green areas are considered “high value” and the blue areas are “medium value” in terms of meeting SCE’s power generation needs. The pink areas have no designation, which presumably means they have no value for the purposes of the RFO. You’ll notice that the cities of Anaheim and Orange (between which the Ball road Basin is sandwiched) are in the pink “no value” zone.

SCE will be evaluating a slew of power generation sites submitted in response to the RF. Companies like CPV will submit multiple offers, hopes of being among the few selected. This map means that according to SCE’s own criteria, the Ball Road Basin site at the heart of this controversial is at the low-end of the value totem pole; if the OCWD goes ahead and leases the site to CPV in teeth of community opposition, the location is geographically uncompetitive according the Edison’s own criteria.

The OCWD Board of Directors might consider whether the hornet’s nest of intense community opposition that has been relentlessly stinging them for weeks is worth the effort, given Edison’s low opinion of the site and the escalating odds of the project being denied by the California Energy Commission due to deep, broad and intense community opposition.

Another OCWD Board Meeting, Another Demonstration of Community Opposition
On Wednesday evening of last week, the OC Water District Board of Directors held one of its twice-monthly regular meetings, and the Stop the Power Plant coalition of residents and businesses was again on hand to voice its opposition into the record.

Director Denis Bilodeau was absent, as was Director Steve Sheldon – the director who has most vigorously defended leasing the site to CPV.

Approximately 100 Stop the Power Plant coalition members attended the meeting, and many voiced their opposition during public comments. the atmosphere was less charged than last Friday’;s meeting and OCWD Directors more circumspect in their grilling of the public. The unified message: we recognize the need for additional power generation and do not oppose building a power plant in Anaheim – but Ball Road Basin is simply not an appropriate sile.

Still, it’s unusual to see elected officials engaging members of the public during the public comment period, often in an adversarial and argumentative manner unwarranted by the demeanor or content of an individual’s commentary.

December 9 is the red-letter date: that is when the OCWD Board of Directors will meet to vote on the CPV proposal to lease the Ball Road Basin for a power plant. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the OCWD Board of Directors chambers, 18700 Ward Street in Fountain Valley.

If just five directors vote against the CPV proposal, it is game over for a power plant on that site, opening the way for a better use.


  1. The Anaheim Chamber of Comnerce is getting environmentalist all excited in order to put together a disruptive protest ala PEDA.


    A. Because the Chamber loves the environment so very very much.
    B. Because the Chamber wants to engage in another insider development deal with its puppet majority on the council.

    I’d love to hear what y’ll think!

    • Heres what I think – your attack on the Chamber is ridiculous given they are the only group to pull residents together and fight this. Several council members have spoken out against it as well in favor or a large community park. Take your character assassination somewhere else. What have you done other than criticize others?

      • If it were near the hood, would the Chamber care?

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Gabriel: if you want to cuss, then keep do it when you’re scribbling for the OC Weekly.

          • Based on your diversion, I’ll assume the answer is a big fat no! haha

            • Matthew Cunningham

              That wasn’t a diversion. It was an admonishment to watch your language.

              Your question is immaterial because no one is proposing a power plant in a residential area. But to answer it: I don’t think the Chamber would ever support building a power plant in a residential neighborhood.

  2. A) Yes. Chris Murray-R, Gail Eastman-R, and “he who shall never be named for fear of being struck down by god”-D have discovered the radical environmentalist within and are supporting the Chamber on this one.

    B) I’ve done things! All kinds of things! Don’t assinate my (an actual person’s) character just because I’m questioning the Chamber of Commerce. And I think looking out for the little guy is a thing worth bragging about!

    But really, you guys should be thanking me. This is the most absurd, transparent, and boarder line evil thing the Chamber has done. Just looking out broskies.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Daniel, stop being ridiculous.

      Provide one shred of evidence that Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, the Chamber of Commerce or anyone else you name is opposed to siting a power plant on Ball Road Basin by pretending to be “environmentalists.” You can’t.

      You might consider the advantages of not making things up out of thin air, especially given that you are a practicing attorney.

  3. If they are not claiming to be environmentalists. Why are we having this conversation? Unless they are taking the position just to be popular, government finances be damned.

    And for that matter, why do you care?

    C’mon, the people are not as dumb as these politicians assume.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Daniel, your question presumes there are only environmentalist reasons for opposing the location of a power plant. I get the very distinct impression you know very little, if anything, about this issue – which makes your wild claims about the motivations of others ridiculous.

  4. I like my lights on, I like my microwave, I like my house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, I like watching football on Saturdays (usually). I want the power plant. I would not call my self an environmentalist.

    It makes no sense to put a power plant next to homes, the movie theater, the Honda Center, and by the restaurants. Why don’t we built it next to the Anaheim power plant? Seems like that would make sense. We have some old warehouses out in Anaheim Canyon near the old Boeing plant. This is not about saving the environment. I hate those arguments. This is about putting a business in an appropriate area.

  5. I wonder if Daniel Lamb has ever had a conversation with the people he is attacking – let me guess, he’s on Team Tait! Attack first and ask questions later or throw out logic all together. Can’t wait for this Year of Kindness to be over so we can get back to treating eachother with respect!

    • Bully? Please… Remember when Kris Murray played the role of LGBT activists and called for hate speech legislation just so she could call the Mayor an anti-Semite and homophobe.

      I wonder if Conservatives will consider that she was willing to throw civil liberties to the wind in order to score cheap political points.

      I’m on no team. Well… Team Daniel maybe… I’m just calling out bs where I see it. And this ‘fight the power plant’ movement is bs.
      Notice how no one here is mentioning the park! We will be hearing less and less of it as the bait and switch comes full circle.

      • So if you lived in those neighborhoods or owned a business next to this proposed site, you would be totally okay with a huge power plant being put in and decimating your property values and contaminating your air?

      • The council members have been mentioning the park, the city staff have been mentioning the park and other comments on this blog have repeatedly mentioned the park. You make things up out of thin air in an attempt to support flimsy attacks. I’ve lived in this city for 30 years and have yet to see you engaged in the community so your attacks fall on deaf ears until you step up and help at a community level. The Council Members you are attacking have been strong advocates for neighborhoods. How you can come down on a campaign that is seeking to preserve one of Anaheim’s long standing neighborhoods is baffling and appalling.

  6. Once again Daniel Lamb slanders people without a shred of direct proof. Your allegation against Kris Murray is ludicrous. If you can find one moment public or private where she called Tom Tait an anti-semite or a homophobe proove it. Otherwise shut up – you belong in the Tait camp given your tactics and comments. All hate, no proof.

  7. ‘The power plant will destroy a long standing neighborhood in Anaheim’ That sounds like a radical environmentalist lie to me. Anyone who drives pass the land will agree with me and think you are all nuts.

    By the way, this kind of bait and switch scheme is nothing new in Orange County… Im pretty sure the FBI’s special poltical corruption task force for OC recently came down hard on a similar project.

    Attacking me and my role in the community is upsetting and unfair. I think I’m being very cool about engaging with people without names. This is a very outdated way to have a forum. So I’d appreciate it if we could discuss the issue without my profession and personal life coming under attack.

    Please Matt, educate us all. Why no power plant? Why a park? Do you want higher energy bills? Do you know how the free market works?
    So far, all I’m seeing is: the Council is against it because they are paid to be against it.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Daniel: I’m happy to educate you, but first you need to chill out and stop tossing around baseless accusations like confetti.

  8. You are nonsensical so perhaps its a waste of time to continue responding – where did anyone say “destroy” a long standing neighborhood. You make egregious, unsubstantiated attacks on others and then whine loudly when people point it out and ask where you have been to help in the community. Don’t throw stones at others unless you are actually doing anything to help. Why no power plant? Because Anaheim just built one and already provides power for its residents and rate payers – the one proposed would not provide one watt of power for the residents in its shadow. Why higher energy bills? Anaheim has the lowest energy bills in the county and nothing this power plant does will improve current useage or cost. Why a park – because communities in down town Anaheim have been doing everything short of begging the city for a large community park for years and this is a great potential site and the right acreage to do something genuinely beneficial for residents. Then you finish your incoherent remarks by claiming the council is paid to oppose it? Where are you getting your information or are you just making this stuff up? Your attack on Council Member Murray above deserves a public correction or a reply with fact to back up that unbelievable claim. Again, I’ve lived here for decades and never heard of you but Kris Murray and this council have been engaged in helping in very real ways and for very little credit – political or otherwise so your attacks are way out of line.

  9. Remember the stalled ‘Gotcha Glacier” project? Denmark has shown here that both Anaheim and the OCWD weren’t thinking far enough ahead!

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