First Major New LA Basin Power Plant in 30 Years Online Ahead of Schedule

April 21, 2006

April 21, 2006

SCE’s new Mountainview plant now powering one of the nation’s fastest growing regions

ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 21, 2006 — Federal, state, and local officials today dedicated the first new major LA Basin power plant built in the past 30 years, SCE’s 1,054 megawatt (MW) Mountainview generating facility in Redlands, CA.  The company called its completion, early and on budget, a unique success story at a time when additional, clean, Southern California power plants are needed but rare.

The plant is located in Southern California’s Inland Empire, the fastest growing area in SCE’s 11-county service territory and one of the nation’s fastest growing regions.  Power consumption in San Bernardino and Riverside counties is growing at approximately 4% a year – twice the rate of other areas SCE serves.  And the utility anticipates record summer power demand in the area.

“The completion of this power plant will help meet the demand of the continuously growing Inland Empire, said U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in a letter to SCE Chairman John Bryson.  “I am pleased that Southern California Edison has completed such a clean, combined cycle plant capable of providing power to over 685,000 homes in the area.”

Featured speakers at today’s dedication event included U.S. Representative Jerry Lewis, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael R. Peevey, Redlands Mayor Jon Harrison, and SCE Chairman John Bryson. 

“I was delighted to support Southern California Edison’s efforts to get the new Mountainview generating plant open and providing electricity to the Inland Empire, the fastest-growing urban area in the United States,” said Congressman Jerry Lewis.  “Bringing the clean resource of new energy online is a vital step in keeping our Southern California economy strong and growing.”

“I’m pleased to help celebrate the opening of the Mountainview Power Plant,” said President Peevey.  “This is an efficient, low heat rate, low emission plant that will help meet the power needs of the fast-growing Inland Empire.”

“We are pleased to have Mountainview online and serving customers.   We have a substantial need for new generation in Southern California,” said SCE Chairman John Bryson, speaking at the dedication.  “We cannot meet our need for new generation solely by importing power from other places.  We need plants like Mountainview here in the region.”

In July, 2003, SCE signed an option agreement with Sequoia Generating LLC, a subsidiary of InterGen, to acquire the abandoned Mountainview Power Company LLC.  Like many California power projects, Mountainview had fallen victim to the reluctance of financial institutions to fund new power plants because of market uncertainties following the state’s 2000-2001 energy crisis. 

Both the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission subsequently approved SCE’s proposed acquisition, determining the utility’s acquisition of Mountainview would be beneficial to customers. 

SCE formally purchased the Mountainview project in March 2004 and immediately resumed construction, hoping to bring the plant online in time for peak summer demand this year.  On Dec. 10, 2005, the first of two 527 MW generating units began commercial operations.  A second identical unit followed on January 19, 2006. 

Both units were completed on budget and ahead of schedule.  And the “combined-cycle*” design is operating at higher fuel efficiency than forecast.  The six Mountainview turbines are producing a kilowatt of electricity using less than 7,000 Btu of fuel, compared to older plants which require 10,000 Btu or more.  The savings – more power from less fuel – go into the pockets of SCE customers through lower power production costs.

“We dedicate this clean, cost-effective generating plant to the people and businesses of the Inland Empire, and to the greater Southern California region,” said SCE Chairman John Bryson.  “As this region grows, we are pleased to be building the future with the communities we serve.”

In addition to Mountainview, SCE owns part of two nuclear plants – San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station – and two coal-fired plants – Mohave Generating Station and Four Corners Generating Station.  SCE also is sole owner of numerous hydroelectric plants.  Combined, SCE’s generating resources produce approximately 30% of the power needed by its customers.  The remaining 70% is provided by independent power producers and marketers who compete for utility contracts in open solicitations.  Included in the power SCE purchases for customers is the nation’s largest renewable energy portfolio – approximately 13,000 gigawatt-hours per year from independent wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydro projects.

How a Combined-Cycle* Plant Works

Cycle One – In Mountainview’s four combustion turbines, air is mixed with natural gas and ignited, increasing the temperature, velocity, and volume of the gases moving through the unit.  This gas flow is then directed through nozzels and across turbine blades, spinning them and generating electricity.  In single-cycle plants, heat from this process is then vented up the plant’s exhaust stack. 

Cycle Two – Mountainview’s combined-cycle design directs this heat from cycle one through a boiler where it produces steam that turns steam turbines, generating “bonus” electricity from the same amount of natural gas.  Two GE F-Class gas turbines are combined with one steam turbine forming a three turbine “train” capable of generating 527 MW of power.  The plant has two such trains and a total generating capacity of 1,054 MW. 

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.