NRG Mandalay power plant project amended, now includes demolition plan

By George Miller

The fencing match between Oxnard and NRG over the proposed Mandalay Power plant replacement continues. This week, NRG amended the project to include a demolition plan for the old plant, per “Puente Project” Manager Dawn Gleiter:

Puente Power Project (P3) Oxnard, CA Submitted to: The California Energy Commission Project Enhancement and Refinement Demolition of Mandalay Generating Station Units 1 and 2 —  Download Puente Application Enhancement Executive Summary

PuenteProjectLogo

“Puente Project” logo conveys that the proposed fossil power plant is a transition “bridge” to the future until it is feasible for most power to be from renewable sources. Source: NRG

We spoke to NRG Energy Senior Director, Wholesale and New Business Communications David Knox, who confirmed our assessment that the company is now unilaterally agreeing to demolish the Mandalay plant as a condition of moving ahead with the project. I asked if this replaces a community services agreement to do so and why the Ormond Beach plant was not included in the plan. He said that NRG encourages the city to enter into a community service agreement with NRG to include that and other arrangements.

I also asked him why they didn’t propose a low profile, less conspicuous structure like the competing Moorpark proposal. He told me that SCE specified the GE technology that allowed more flexibility. One might wonder why they didn’t also specify it for the Moorpark proposal also.

The current plants at Mandalay Beach and Ormond Beach both use one-pass ocean cooling which will be outlawed by 2020 and would require very expensive retrofits or waivers to continue. NRG proposed to shut them both down and replace them with a single hi-tech 262 megawatt “peaker” plant, which is far more responsive to changing power requirements, cleaner and cheaper to operate, complying with all laws and providing  a necessary bridge until more renewable resources are feasible, as well as allowing continued beach access.

However opponents object on aesthetics, land use and environmental concerns, some of which are controversial and unproven. In the meantime, Oxnard is going ahead at full power to attempt to stop the plant via forbidding it in its Local Coastal Plan update underway, taking legal and political action.  The Council voted more funding for attorneys recently.

Old plant:

MandalayPowerPlant

Proposed:

MandalayPowerPlant Demolished

 

There are many articles on this subject on our web site.

 

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George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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