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Industry News

Calpine and GE Announce Site for Advanced New Power Plant

LCG, February 23, 2005--Calpine Corporation (Calpine) and GE Energy (GE) yesterday announced their plan to develop a 775-MW, combined-cycle power plant in Southern California that will be the first site in North America using GE's new, H System technology. The first GE H System unit was installed in Baglan Bay, Wales and commenced operation in September 2003.

The H System technology is GE's latest technology for natural gas-fired, combined-cycle stations, and the planned station will use two GE 107H combined-cycle systems. The new technology provides for greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions, including greenhouse emissions. Like other combined-cycle designs, the H System uses gas turbine exhausts to generate steam that drives another turbine for additional power generation. However, the H System uses steam rather than air to cool the turbines, which allows the system to operate at higher temperatures and results in greater efficiency, using about 3 percent less fuel. Furthermore, GE states that the H System emits 2 percent less nitrogen oxide per unit electricity produced. With natural gas price levels over twice the level of a few years ago, the increased fuel efficiency will improve the economics of gas-fired stations, with reduced emissions another valuable benefit.

The site for the new power plant, the Inland Empire Energy Center, is in the unincorporated community of Romoland in Riverside County, California. Calpine previously received a license in 2003 from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to construct a 670-MW plant at the site. Calpine will soon seek an amendment of the permit from the CEC for the new, advanced technology. In addition, Calpine must receive permit amendments from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), which already received Calpine's application for an amendment early this month. Calpine plans to commence operations by the summer 2008 to meet Southern California's growing demand for electricity.

In November 2004, the two companies announced that GE had signed a letter of intent with Calpine and planned to invest over $500 million in a new station using the H System technology; however, the site was not specified. To overcome a lack of long-term sales contracts for the plant and related financing difficulties, GE will purchase the project development rights from Calpine and finance, own and operate the facility. Calpine will continue to be responsible for development activities, including securing the necessary permit amendments, project management services for the construction project, and pursuing power sales contracts. After an undisclosed period, Calpine will purchase the plant and become the sole owner and operator.

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