Moorpark nixes new power plant

By Debra Tash


At their November 20, 2013 meeting the Moorpark City Council heard a presentation from representatives of the proposed Amaranto Energy Center.  Amaranto would be a gas-fired simple-cycle power generating facility located just north of the Moorpark West studio project. The gas-fired plant would generate 290 megawatts of power and be next to Southern California Edison’s Moorpark substation.

This is the beginning of a very long road for Diamond Generating Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi.

With the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and the possible closure of the two gas-fired plants in Mandalay Bay and Ormond Beach in Oxnard, Southern California Edison, SCE, is seeking new ways to generate and store electricity.  With the constant threat of earthquake and/or fire damage the State mandated smaller, more numerous facilities be built to meet demands for green energy and reliability.    At the request of the California Utilities Commission for grid scale energy storage on September 12th SCE issued a Local Capacity Requirements Request for Offer, or LCR RFO to meet the State’s mandate.   You can read about it here:

One of the regions SCE focused on is the Moorpark sub area which stretches from Newbury Park, Oxnard, Goleta and eastward to Santa Clarita. This Request for Offer, RFO, is an invitation for bids.  Diamond Generating Corporation, DGC, is one of several companies competing for SCE’s contract to build generating plants and storage facilities.

At the November 20th Moorpark council meeting a workshop was conducted to inform the community of the long and highly regulated process to build a facility on the 34 acre site north of the Moorpark West studio.  “The council wanted the public to learn as much as possible about this project,” Mayor Parvin said.

Steve Kueny, Moorpark’s City Manager, began by stating the city’s view of DGC’s project, “This is a quality of life issue.”  He pointed out that Moorpark already has a valid land development agreement on the site DGC choose.  That development agreement is for 17 industrial lots, a conservation easement and part of the Moorpark truck bypass.  Kueney concluded, “Staff is recommending to oppose this project.”

Keith Millhouse noted, “No application has been prepared. Part of the process they have to submit to Edison… This is the cart before the horse.”

Paula Zagrecki, Director of Finance for DGC, did a PowerPoint Presentation.  She stated that they were only at the beginning of the process which could take up to four years.   She and representatives or the company met with members of the council and staff to address the city’s concerns.

The PowerPoint showed what the buildings would be like, architecturally similar to those of the studio which has already broken ground.  The equipment would be enclosed to keep noise levels below Moorpark’s standards.  The facility, with extensive landscaping, would not be visible from Los Angeles Ave.  The stacks, which will be 80 feet high, will protrude 10 feet above the 70 foot building where the generators will be housed.  No visible plumes would be seen, and due to strict air quality standards only water vapor and hot air will be emitted.  She noted that wind turbines are 400 feet in height.  Construction is estimated to take 18 months and employ 200 workers.  She assured the audience and the council, “It’s clean and safe and the public health is protected.”

You can see the site map:



DCG has optioned the property.  On January 31st 2014 SCE will short list bidders and in June they will choose who won the contract and a power purchase agreement will be signed.  Then the project goes to the California Energy Commission  for approval, which could take up to a year.  At that time DGC must put up a multi-million dollar security – even more if the project is approved.

Gas-fired generating plants are not permitted in the city’s zoning and a variance would have to be granted.

Keith Millhouse said, “Don’t want the State to force something down our throats.” He conceded that the State can override the City in these matters.

Zagrecki noted that the, “Moorpark substation is the hub of the Moorpark subarea.”  They looked at other sites.

New transmission lines, running from Moorpark to Newbury Park, have been in the works since 2008.  You can see the line project map: MoorparkMap.  The Moorpark substation is used for transmission.  These types of substations are junction points for high voltage lines.

The community members in attendance where strongly opposed to the project, siting health and safety issues.

Site rendering:


Mayor Parvin made a motion to have staff draft a letter of opposition.  Councilman Mark Van Dam dissented stating that the project (the development agreement for 17 industrial lots) has been out there for 15 years and nothing’s happened.  The Mayor’s motion passed 4 to 1.


Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, living in Somis








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Stefan Djordjevic
Stefan Djordjevic
7 years ago

How many people would it employ once it is built?