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.