Skip to content

Bechtel’s Impact Report

Construction To Begin On 600-megawatt Metcalf Energy Center

  • 24 September 2001
    San Jose, CA
  • Press Release

Construction To Begin On 600-megawatt Metcalf Energy Center

"We are extremely proud of the tremendous support we have received from such a wide variety of organizations, community leaders and the citizens of San Jose. We have always believed this is an ideal location for a plant, in a region without its own local source of significant power generation," said Ken Abreu, General Manager for the Calpine/Bechtel Joint Development. "We are looking forward to working together with the city as we begin construction on the first major power plant to be built in Silicon Valley. This plant will be a showcase project for Calpine, Bechtel and the City of San Jose." 

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) supports the project, stating in a letter to the CEC dated September 1, 2000, "The Bay Area, and in particular the San Jose area, are among the most generation deficient areas in the state. San Jose is the most vulnerable metropolitan area on the PG&E system for local system problems. MEC will provide substantial reliability benefits to the San Jose area." In addition, the Final Determination of Compliance of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District found that MEC will use the best and most appropriate emissions control technology and that the project will have no significant impacts on public health. 

The CEC Commissioners' decision to license MEC is based on an evidentiary record assembled over the course of public hearings. It includes the findings reported in CEC staff reports and the Revised Presiding Members Proposed Decision, which stated, "Since the MEC will provide a portion of the electrical energy supply essential to the well-being of the State's citizens and its economy, we conclude that this project is required for 'public convenience and necessity.'" The San Jose City Council recently entered into a cooperation agreement with Calpine/Bechtel, voting to support the project, thus reversing an earlier denial. 

MEC has received an unprecedented level of support, including endorsements from Governor Gray Davis, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California State Assembly, the Democratic and Republican leadership of the California legislature, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, various regulatory agencies, Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, California Large Energy Consumers Association, the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club, labor organizations, community leaders, the local chapters of the American Lung Association and the NAACP, CEERT -- the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, TURN: The Utility Reform Network, and many others. 

In addition to providing a source of clean and reliable energy, MEC will bring a variety of other community benefits to the region. It will be the city's largest consumer of recycled water, helping San Jose to reduce its impact on the sensitive San Francisco Bay habitat. Additionally, Calpine and Bechtel will dedicate 131 acres of land for permanent open space, help fund community-based health, education and open space projects and contribute funds towards an energy assistance program for low-income families. Calpine and Bechtel Enterprises are prepared to begin construction on the 20-acre site this October. Construction is estimated to take approximately two years. The project is expected to begin commercial operation during the summer/fall of 2003. 

Calpine Corporation is dedicated to providing customers with reliable and competitively priced electricity. Calpine is focused on clean, efficient, natural gas-fired generation and is the world's largest producer of renewable geothermal energy. Calpine has launched the largest power development program in North America. To date, the company has approximately 34,900 megawatts of base load capacity and 7,600 megawatts of peaking capacity in operation, under construction, and in announced development in 29 states, the United Kingdom and Canada. The company was founded in 1984 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CPN. For more information about Calpine, visit its Website at

Bechtel Enterprises Holdings, Inc. is the development, financing and ownership affiliate of the Bechtel organization, a global engineering and construction firm. Bechtel has been at the center of energy development since the 1940's, having built more than 450 power stations with a total generating capacity exceeding 250,000 megawatts. Through its power development affiliate, InterGen, and its own portfolio, Bechtel Enterprises has more than 17,600 megawatts of energy capacity in operation, under construction, or in advanced development around the world. For more information about Bechtel, visit its Website at

Key Contact

About Bechtel

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.  

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing & Technology; Mining & Metals; and Nuclear, Security & Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.

RSS icon Add the Bechtel News Feed to my RSS reader.