PG&E Corporation Advances Plans For New Plant To Serve Western Power Markets


(Phoenix, Ariz.)- PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) moved an important step closer to the construction of a new electric generating plant in the power-starved western U.S. with the unanimous approval of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for a Special Use Permit for the Harquahala Generating Project. The 1,040-megawatt natural gas-fired plant will be located in western Maricopa County, Arizona. The permit allows the generating facility to be constructed and to operate.

"The approval of the Special Use Permit by the Board of Supervisors moves us closer to building a much-needed source of clean and cost-competitive energy," said Thomas B. King, president and chief operating officer, for PG&E Corporation's National Energy Group, West Region.

In June, the Arizona Corporation Commission unanimously approved the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility. Then, in July, the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Special Use Permit. The project now awaits issuance of a water quality permit and a county air quality permit, as well as approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for an Environmental Assessment.

"We're in an excellent position to begin construction before year-end," said King. The plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2003.

Several residents from Harquahala Valley testified in support of the Project, including landowners and community leaders. Randy Long, Harquahala Valley Fire Chief, told Supervisors, "I've visited a similar plant in Oregon, twice, and I was impressed with its operation, cleanliness and concern for safety."

The plant 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 300 times. Harquahala Generating also will limit visual impacts of the plant through reduced lighting, and color schemes, as well as visually screening the plant with an approved landscaping plan.

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 nearly $21 billion and operations in 21 states, markets energy services and products throughout North America through its National Energy Group. The Corporation has ownership and management interests in more than 30 power plants, and has one of the largest energy trading and risk management programs in North America.


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