Origins of the “Unsolicited” Proposal for Power Plant at Ball Road Basin

The controversy over a proposal to build a power plant on an OC Water District parcel in Anaheim erupted seemingly out of the blue just a few weeks ago, it’s reasonable to ask where it all started? Especially since the OCWD Board is set to vote on the proposal tomorrow evening.

Speaking to the Fullerton City Council, OCWD General Manager Mike Marcus said the district determined six or seven years ago that the Ball Road Basin had no percolative capacity and was unsuitable for use as a groundwater re-charge basin. It was decided to sell or lease the land (which is an interesting statement since I’ve had an OCWD Director tell me the district would never, ever sell the property]. OCWD has been working with Anaheim for the last few years seeking to have the Ball Road Basin re-zoned from open space to commercial, in order to develop it for commercial uses as a revenue-generator.

The power plant proposal from Competitive Power Ventures did not come about as the result of an open bidding process in which the OCWD issued an RFP and selected CPV’s proposal from a pool of responsive proposals for a commercial re-use of the Ball Road Basin.

Steve Sheldon 150x150_0According to this July 26, 2013 e-mail from OCWD Director Steve Sheldon to Marcus and OCWD Director of Property Management Bruce Dosier, the wheels were put motion this summer:

Mike/Bruce:

I recently meet with Janice Glaab and her client, Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV), pertaining to a six month ENA for the Ball Street basin so that they can study the area to propose a 20-25 year ground lease. I understand that they meet with Phil, Denis and some City of Anaheim officials as well. Apparently their timeframe is relatively short because with the closure of San Onofre the PUC will be issuing RFP’s for power plants and they are identifying various sites. They will be submitting a letter on Monday and potentially a draft ENA (for Joel to review). Since this concept appears interesting I would like to call a Property Comm meeting for Friday, Aug, 2 to discuss the issue.

I am interested in an your feedback and comments. Also, please see below and attached.

-Steve

Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (”CPV”) is a leading North American electric power generation development and asset management company. CPV is dedicated to a clean energy strategy utilizing high efficiency natural gas and renewable generation to meet growing demand in high load areas. CPV has extensive power plant development, financing, construction, and asset management experience, with a strong track record of success. CPV’s experience in the state of California includes both development and asset management; some examples include:

• 800 MW CPV Sentinel located in Desert Hot Springs, CA (Riverside County)
• 660 MW Colusa located in Maxwell, CA (Colusa County)
• 800 MW Inland Empire located in Romoland, CA (Riverside County)
• 660 MW CPV Vaca Station located in Vacaville, CA (Solano County)

In response, at at a special meeting of the Property Management Committee on August 9, it was decided to have the full Board of Directors to give CPV exclusive negotiating rights to the Ball Road Basin for a 6-month period.

When Fullerton Councilwoman Jan Flory asked why the OCWD granted exclusive negotiating rights to the submitter of an unsolicited proposal rather than open the commercial re-use of the Ball Road Basin to all bidder, Marcus said the District had been heading in that direction (hence the re-zoning effort) but basically the Board decided to jump at the CPV proposal – leap-frogging their own roadmap for the commercial re-use of the property.

Not that it matters — since by leasing the property for a power plant, the OCWD wouldn’t need to bother with the City of Anaheim’s approval process.

The upshot: CPV’s proposal didn’t exactly suddenly appear on OCWD’s doorstep like an abandoned baby in a basket, and the district has largely tossed aside its own plan for developing the Ball Road Basin within the planning jurisdiction of Anaheim, opting instead to shut out all other potential development partners and exclude the government and residents of Anaheim from any direct say in the high-impact re-use of the Ball Road Basin

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  1. This power plant lease always smelled fishy….and it not just because the land is on the Santa Ana river.

  2. I too heard about this power plant. Now what is new regarding this?

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