Davis endorses Metcalf power plant in San Jose | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Davis endorses Metcalf power plant in San Jose

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO (AP) – Gov. Gray Davis urged state regulators Wednesday to approve the construction of a controversial power plant in southern San Jose.

The proposed 600-megawatt power plant would provide electricity to roughly 450,000 homes in the Silicon Valley.

”It will provide reliable energy to a part of the state that is now too dependent on outside power,” Davis said at a press conference at a Sacramento Municipal Utility District electric substation.

Building and permitting new power plants in California is critical to pull the state from its current energy crisis, Davis said.

”We will build our way out of this, probably by the end of 2003,” Davis said.

Calpine Corp. has promised to provide the electricity produced at the Metcalf Energy Center plant only to the local community, Davis said.

In November, San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and the rest of the city council voted to block Calpine and its partner, Bechtel Enterprises Inc., from building the proposed $400 million, natural gas-fueled Metcalf plant. Gonzales said the plant would be too close to residential areas.

The plant would be built in San Jose’s Coyote Valley, one of the area’s last swaths of open space. Cisco Systems Inc. also hopes to build a $1.3 billion office complex there, which some resident oppose but the mayor supports.

Davis said all communities in the state must do their part and the Metcalf plant would be one of the nation’s most efficient.

”They’ve made a number of concessions to San Jose,” Davis said. ”The plant will be as efficient as any in the nation.”

If the California Energy Commission approves the project this summer, it could be done by spring 2002, Davis said.

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