What’s Next for Ball Road Basin Power Plant Proposal

When the OCWD Board of Director’s voted 6-4 on December 9 to lease the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), it was the first step on a longer road CPV must travel to get permission to build a 400 megawatt power plant on the site.

CPV needed the lease agreement approved in order to meet the December 16, 2013 deadline set in a Southern California Edison’s Request-For-Offers for power generation. There are still a number of hurdles CPV needs to clear before it can actually build a plant, and here is a timeline of that process:

January 30, 2014: Edison notifies offerors who have been placed on the shortlist for consideration for contracts. If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their proposal for a Ball Road Basin plant is dead for the time being.

May 22, 2014: If CPV’s Ball Road Basin proposal makes the shortlist, May 22 is the deadline to complete negotiation of agreement with Edison.

May 29, 2014: Deadline to submit a final offer.

June 26, 2014: Last date for notification of successful offers and to sign agreements.

If CPV succeeds in negotiation a power agreement with Edison for the proposed Ball Road Basin project, it will then begin the California Energy Commission’s 12-month review and approval process.

There has been unified community opposition to CPV’s proposal from both Anaheim residents and businesses, who have swamped OCWD Board meetings since November to register their opposition. The OCWD and the City of Anaheim have received hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone calls opposing the building of a power plant on the Ball Road Basin site.

It’s important to note this opposition, coordinated by the Stop the Power Plant coalition, does not oppose the building of power plants nor question the region’s need to additional power generation. It is a question of whether the Ball Road Basin is an appropriate site for a 400 megawatt power plant – which won’t supply electricity to Anaheim – and the answer from residents and businesses alike has been a universal “no.”

While the coalition fell short of persuading five OCWD Directors to oppose leasing the site, the intense, sustained and broad public opposition to CPV’s proposal is in the public record, and will be a major factor in the CEC’s decision to approve or reject it (assuming Edison signs an agreement with CPV).

Informed sources say the CEC is reluctant to approve the siting of power plant projects where there is strong community opposition. Also, even if the Ball Road Basin project is selected by Edison, it will be just one of several projects selected and won’t constitute the difference between whether or not the region’s power needs are met.

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