Tonight at 5:30 p.m., the Orange County Water District Board of Directors meets and will vote whether or not to lease the 20-acre parcel known as the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the construction of a 400 megawatt power plant. They will also be dealing with an alleged violation of the Brown Act by three of the directors, in relation to this issue, in attempt to quarantine the OCWD from litigation if the Board courts folly by approving a lease for the land.
Red flags have been popping up with increasing frequency as this vote has neared. There are more, not fewer, questions and uncertainties regarding this power plant proposal. Anaheim residents and businesses are more, not less, opposed to the power plant proposal. The OCWD is hurtling towards approving a decades-long land lease for a power plant that faces steadily increasing community and official opposition – all in order to meet the deadline for an Edison request-for-offers. [Edison itself has ranked the Ball Road Basin as having no power generation value.]
The bulk of the Orange County legislative delegation signed a letter of opposition to this proposal — and these are pro-power generation leaders. That letter ably summed up the reasons why the OCWD Board of Directors should reject this proposal to lease Ball Road Basin for a power plant:
The property, known as the Ball Road Basin, represents one of the last remaining vacant parcels in the heart of Orange County. With many residential neighborhoods nearby, the public‘s interests must be paramount in any future development of this property. In addition, the proposed 300-600 megawatt power plant would negatively impact nearby entertainment and commercial businesses. Ultimately, the power plant provides no direct benefits to the residents of Anaheim, whose city owns its own electric utility and recently built a power plant in an industrial area a few miles away.
We agree there is a need to develop new sources of power to support our state’s population growth. However, a power plant located at the Ball Road Basin is the wrong solution.
Our constituents have made their opposition to the power plant loud and clear. Supporting this proposal will simply result in an unnecessary and drawn-out public battle over the project.
The Orange County Water District should reject the power plant and continue discussions with the City of Anaheim on a mutually beneficial use of the surplus property. By denying this proposal, the Orange County Water District can better attend to its primary mission of providing reliable, high quality groundwater to customers in northern and central Orange County.
Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray has taken a leadership role in opposing this proposal. She has spoken at past OCWD Board meetings and will be there tonight to speak against it. She sent this e-newsletter out earlier today:
Later tonight, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) will be voting on a proposal to construct a power plant on surplus property located at the Ball Road Basin. If approved, the 20 acre property will be leased to a private company, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), for the purpose of constructing a 300-600 megawatt plant.
The Ball Road Basin property is one of the few remaining large parcels of land existing in Orange County. Construction of a power plant at this location will have significant negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses and fails to meet the needs of the local community.
The City of Anaheim has long appreciated the respectful, cooperative working relationship that we have developed over the years with OCWD that most recently resulted in the construction of the very popular Anaheim Coves at Burris Basin and the Canyon Power Plant.
We would like to continue to build on that partnership by finding a mutually beneficial use for the Ball Road Basin property — as an example a proposed option by city staff to purchase the land from OCWD and build a park and sports fields.
As a member of the City Council, I have been actively opposed to this power plant at this location. I encourage you to join the City, state and local elected officials, residents, and businesses in urging the OCWD Board of Directors to reject the proposal and stop the power plant.
There are several ways you can help:
- Attend tonight’s 5:30 pm meeting at OCWD (18700 Ward Street, Fountain Valley) and speak during public comments
- Call OCWD at 714-378-3200
- Submit comments online to OCWD.
For more information on the proposed power plant and its impact on the community, visit www.stopthepowerplant.com. Your help is essential in preserving the Ball Road Basin property for open space that will meet the needs of the residents and surrounding communities in Anaheim and Orange.
I hope to see you at tonight’s meeting at the OCWD.
City of Anaheim