Located off Monterey Road across from the large PG&E substation, the Metcalf Energy Center will be situated at the southern base of Tulare Hill. The facility will be designed to reflect the local architectural character of the area and be screened from view by landscaped vegetation and local foothills. There is no construction planned for Tulare Hill; it is designated as open space.
"As Bay Area-based companies, Calpine and Bechtel are committed to ensuring the environmental quality of the region," said Robert T. Hepple, Calpine Director of Projects. "This project will be one of the cleanest energy generating facilities in the nation and will provide significant environmental benefits to the region."
Compared to the average utility gas-fired power plant in operation today, the facility will use up to 40 percent less fuel and will significantly reduce emissions that contribute to smog by utilizing combined-cycle combustion turbine design and advanced emissions control systems. In addition, the facility will help maintain the economic vitality of the area by providing high-tech facilities with the dependable source of electricity that they need to operate effectively.
"Supporting innovation and conserving natural resources are goals identified in our report, 'Silicon Valley 2010,'" said Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network. "As our region prepares for the 21st century, it is increasingly important that we employ state-of-the-art technology in the energy industry, using our precious natural resources in the most efficient way possible. Reliable energy production which meets high environmental standards can provide stability for Silicon Valley businesses and residents far into the future.
The facility will be built in partnership with union labor. Two hundred fifty new construction jobs will result from the project. Once operational, the facility will employ 20-30 full-time workers.
"Calpine and Bechtel have demonstrated their commitment to working families in south San Jose," said John Neece, CEO of the Santa Clara County Building and Construction Trades Council. "By agreeing to hire local union workers and paying them family wages, they have taken steps that will benefit our community."
Before the Metcalf Energy Center can be built, it must go through a rigorous year-long technical, environmental, and land use review process conducted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) with the participation of local and state agencies. Throughout this process, Calpine and Bechtel will seek input from local community residents, environmental groups, the City of San Jose, and other local governmental agencies.
"We encourage the public to participate in the CEC process," commented Hepple. "We will work closely with the community to make the Metcalf Energy Center a model project for San Jose."
It is anticipated that the CEC review, licensing, and public hearing process will be concluded by the summer of 2000. If approved, construction will start soon after the license to construct is issued, and commercial operation can begin in 2002.
Based in San Jose, Calpine Corporation is a leading independent power company dedicated to providing customers with low-cost electricity and thermal energy. Calpine currently has 6,400 megawatts of capacity in operation, under construction, or in announced development in 11 states--enough energy to power six-and-a-half million households. The company was founded in 1984 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CPN. For more information, please visit Calpine's web site at www.calpine.com
Bechtel Enterprises is the development, financing and ownership affiliate of the Bechtel organization, a global engineering and construction firm based in San Francisco. The company celebrated its centennial year of service in 1998 and has been a part of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1904. 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.