EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
ANNOUNCES OTAY MESA GENERATING PLANT NEARS COMPLETION OF STATE SITING
Hearings start Monday on
the project, which is expected to play a critical role in relieving
the power supply crunch facing the San Diego region
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - PG&E
Corporation (NYSE: PCG) announced Thursday that the proposed Otay
Mesa Generating Project will enter the final stages of the state
siting process next week, as the California Energy Commission holds
public hearings on the project. The Corporation's National Energy
Group, which is developing the project, hopes to have final permits
by early 2001.
The Otay Mesa Generating
Project will be the first new power plant built in San Diego County
in almost three decades.
"Dealing with all of the
issues related to the siting of this plant has been a long, complex
process," said Sharon Segner, who has managed the development project
for the PG&E National Energy Group (NEG). "We feel confident that
we are entering these final hearings having resolved the vast majority
of the issues to all parties' satisfaction. We expect that the few
that are left will be resolved very soon."
One outstanding matter relates
to natural gas supply for the plant. "The plant's natural gas supply
can come from two potential sources -- the existing San Diego Gas
& Electric Company system or the proposed North Baja Pipeline, the
project proposed by PG&E National Energy Group and Sempra to bring
additional gas supplies to the border region," Segner said.
The California Energy Commission
will begin hearings on Nov. 13 in San Diego and resume the following
week. Following the hearings, the matter goes to the Commission
for a final decision, probably in early 2001.
The goal is to bring the
project on line as soon as possible. By doing so, Otay Mesa will
help alleviate the energy capacity shortage now facing the San Diego
San Diego City Councilman
Juan Vargas applauded the effort to develop new generation capacity
in the San Diego County.
"As we saw last summer,
this region faces serious energy problems. Customer prices have
skyrocketed, largely because we do not have enough generating capacity
to meet the needs of our region," Vargas said. "I applaud all efforts
to meet the increased demand for electricity in our region that
will help halt the skyrocketing costs."
The 500-megawatt Otay Mesa
Generating Project will be located within a 46-acre property on
the remote eastern portion of Otay Mesa, near the base of the San
Ysidro Mountains, approximately 1.5 miles from the United States/Mexico
The plant will be fueled
with natural gas and contain state-of-the-art emission control equipment,
making it one of the cleanest plants in the country. In addition,
in a first-of-its-kind program, the Otay Mesa Generating Project
will utilize mobile emission credits to offset nitrogen oxide emissions
from the plant. A large portion of the mobile credits will be created
through the conversion of refuse-hauling vehicles in San Diego to
natural gas fuel, under a joint program by PG&E National Energy
Group and Waste Management Inc.
Greg Cox, the San Diego
County supervisor in whose district the plant will be sited, said
the proposed power project is an important component in the economic
development efforts in the East Otay Mesa area.
"Strengthening the economic
base of the East Otay Mesa area is a top priority for San Diego
County," Cox said. "Construction of this plant will lay the groundwork
for establishment of the infrastructure we need for a successful
economic development effort."
PG&E Corporation, with 1999
revenues of nearly $21 billion and operations in 21 states, markets
energy services and products throughout North America through its
National Energy Group. The Corporation has ownership and management
interests in more than 30 power plants and has one of the largest
energy trading and risk management programs in North America.
This news release discusses
certain matters that may be considered "forward-looking" statements
within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933,
as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended, including statements regarding the intent, belief or
current expectations of PG&E Corporation ("the Company") and its
management or those of the PG&E National Energy Group and its management.
Prospective investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking
statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve
a number of risks and uncertainties that could materially affect
actual results such as, but not limited to, (i) changes in government
regulations and anticipated deregulation of the electric energy
industry; (ii) commercial operations of new plants that may be delayed
or prevented because of various development and construction risks,
such as a failure to obtain financing and the necessary permits
or equipment to operate or the failure of third-party contractors
to perform their contractual obligations, (iii) a competitor's development
of a lower-cost generating gas-fired power plant, (iv) fluctuations
in natural gas and electricity prices and the ability to successfully
manage such price fluctuations or (v) the risks associated with
marketing and selling power from power plants in the newly competitive
energy market. Prospective investors are also referred to the other
risks identified from time to time in the Company's reports and
registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.