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Key Committee Recommending Denial Of Controversial Power Plant Project On South Coast

(NRG image)
Artist's illustration of Puente Power Plant if project is approved at Mandalay Beach

There’s a major development in the controversy over a proposal to build a new power plant in Oxnard, with a state committee reviewing the project saying it will recommend its denial.

Two members of the California Energy Commission say they feel the Puente Power Project is inconsistent with multiple regulatory guidelines, and that it would create significant unmitigable environmental impacts.

The commissioners note a recent study shows there are more environmentally friendly alternatives to the natural gas plant, but also say it is unclear as to whether they are economically feasible. They say based on what they know now, they recommend the project’s denial.

NRG is proposing to remove two power plants at the Mandalay site which have to be phased out because of new restrictions on the use of ocean water for cooling, and to replace them with a single 262 megawatt facility.

The plan has generated a firestorm of opposition. Concerns range from environmental impacts to the social justice issue of locating another power plant in a low income community. While environmentalists are applauding the committee’s stance, the full commission could still approve the project.

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