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"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
HARQUAHALA PLANT RECEIVES UNANIMOUS APPROVAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL COMPATIBILITY
PHOENIX, Ariz. - PG&E Corporation
(NYSE:PCG) today lauded the Arizona Corporation Commission's unanimous
approval of a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility for the
Harquahala Generating Project, a 1,040-megawatt natural gas fired
electric generating merchant power plant in western Maricopa County.
"We are pleased that the
Arizona Corporation Commission has recognized the benefits of clean,
cost-competitive energy in the region as well as our company's commitment
to operating the facility with the utmost attention to environmental
standards," said Thomas B. King, president and chief operating officer,
West Region, of PG&E Corporation's National Energy Group.
The Commission's vote re-affirms
the recommendation made in April of this year by its Transmission
Line and Power Plant Siting Committee, which overwhelmingly supported
approval of the Certificate. This approval came after an exhaustive
review of the environmental impacts and issues related to reliability.
As a condition of the Certificate,
Harquahala Generating has agreed to use Central Arizona Project
(CAP) water as its preferable source of water for the operation
of the plant. If groundwater is needed, the Project will follow
the same requirements for siting and permitting supply wells as
if it were located in an area with restricted groundwater resources.
King noted that these requirements are much more stringent than
normally required in the Harquahala Valley, an area with extensive
The Project will use a zero
liquid discharge system, to minimize water consumption and the creation
of wastewater. This system treats and recycles the water more than
130 times. Harquahala Generating also will minimize visual impacts
through reduced lighting, color schemes, and moderate stack heights,
as well as visually screen the plant with an approved landscaping
Several residents from Harquahala
Valley testified in support of the Project. Elisa Bigbey, long-time
resident and a member of the Arlington School District told commissioners,
"I have been asked to represent many of the residents in Harquahala
who have endorsed the project but could not be here." She submitted
signed petitions from more than 100 community members who support
the electric generating facility, and asked directly for the Commissioners'
approval of the Certificate.
The Harquahala Generating
Project is expected to generate about $8 to $10 million annually
in local property taxes. An average of 340 construction jobs will
be created during the two-year construction period, and when complete,
the facility will employ about 35 full-time employees.
PG&E Corporation, with 1999
revenues of almost $21 billion and operations in 21 states, markets
energy services and products throughout North America through its
National Energy Group. PG&E Corporation's businesses also include
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Northern and Central California
utility that deliver natural gas and electricity to one in every