Politics Magazine

News – Palmdale Power Plant Receives Transferred Air Credits from MDAQMD

Posted on the 30 October 2013 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

According to a news release from the City of Palmdale, the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) approved the inter-district transfer of offset Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) to the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) for the Palmdale Power Plant at its Monday, Oct. 28 board meeting in Victorville.

“As both the San Joaquin and Mojave Air Districts have said, the transfer of air credits encourages industry to make investments in clean air technology that improves air quality,” said Palmdale’s Director of Public Works Mike Mischel. “This also fosters a pro-business climate by allowing new job creating business to take place. Transferring these air credits is really a win-win for everyone.”


“In the case of the Palmdale Power Plant, ERCs are being acquired at a rate of 1:3 to 1, which means it will be taking more emissions offline than it will contribute,” Mischel said. “That method ensures that our air continues to become cleaner and cleaner with each new project and technology.”

“This is all part of the process as the Palmdale Power Plant project moves forward,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “The power plant has been fully approved and permitted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and all that is left is the administrative procedures of transferring the Emission Reduction Credits.”

According to the California Health & Safety Code (H&S Code) §40709.6, there is an allowance for emissions a stationary source located within one air district that may be offset by emissions reductions credited in another air district under certain circumstances. If the two districts are located in the same air basin then the district where the credits originate is required to determine the type and quantity of the emissions reductions credited (H&S Code §49709.6(b)) and adopt a resolution approving the transfer after taking into consideration the impact of the offset on air quality, public health and the regional economy (H&S code §40709.6(d)).

The power plant was purchased by Summit Power Group LLC, a Seattle, Washington based company, develops all types of energy projects, including carbon capture projects for enhanced oil recovery, natural gas, coal, wind, solar projects and other energy-intensive industrial projects using proven technologies.

The purchase of the project, which includes initial purchase price, development costs, development premium, 50 acres of land, transmission construction cost savings, and potentially additional acreage will bring the City of Palmdale $27.4 million dollars, bring in $5 million dollars annually in products and services; generate $6 million dollars a year in taxes for Los Angeles County; create up to 800 construction jobs and 35 permanent jobs; pave 4-6 miles of roads; and pay for a $20 million dollar reclaimed water trunk line which will connect the Lancaster and Palmdale treatment facilities.

Summit also works with select new technology companies in related areas. Summit has led or had significant involvement in the successful development of more than 9,250 megawatts of projects either operating, in construction or in late stage development and has over $3 billion in projects in early stage development.

For more information on Summit, please visit http://www.summitpower.com.

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According to the city’s news release, Palmdale is poised to become an important power producer in the Antelope Valley and the State of California. Currently in the City of Palmdale, there are over a dozen solar power projects under construction or in the planning stages, which will produce a total of 158 megawatts of electricity.

In addition, the city recently entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), with PsomasFMG who will install solar shade structures in the parking lots of several city facilities, selling the resulting energy to the city at a discounted rate. It is anticipated that in the first year, the city will purchase the energy for approximately $283,500, saving over $63,000. Through the life of the 20-year PPA, the city will spend approximately $7.8 million for the energy, saving approximately $1.4 million based on conservative estimates. Palmdale will also retain the rights to the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

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In August 2011, after three years of intense study and scrutiny, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the Presiding Member’s Proposed Decision to approve the Palmdale Power Plant. That was followed in November, 2011, by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of their permit to the City of Palmdale, for the construction and operation of the project. The plant is currently designed to produce 570 megawatts of electricity, which can service approximately 600,000 homes.

The Palmdale Power Plant will also help stabilize the state’s power grid by providing a reliable source of electricity, help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals, allow renewables to continue to grow and add to the state’s power portfolio, and fill a void in the grid with the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and the retirement of older, dirtier plants which currently supply electricity.

In a press release issued in Nov. 2011 announcing the approval of the permit issued approving the permit, Jared Blumenfeld, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Region called Palmdale’s power plant “a model for new electric power plants across the nation.”

For more information, please visit http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/palmdale.

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