The California Energy Commission has approved certification for a Seattle alternative energy company to build and operate a proposed natural gas power plant in Palmdale.
Summit Power Group had filed an amended petition in 2015 to change the project from a hybrid natural gas and solar power plant to one using natural gas only. The original permit had been granted to the city of Palmdale in 2011 and the commission approved transfer of it to Summit four years later.
Major modifications to the power plant include eliminating the solar component, replacing a wet cooling tower with a dry cooling method that uses less water and reducing the size of the site to 50 acres from 333 acres.
The commission issued an order effective Aug. 14 that the power plant can be built and that it will ensure protection of environmental quality.
“The conditions of certification also ensure that the Palmdale Energy Project will neither result in, nor contribute substantially to, any significant direct, indirect or cumulative environmental impacts,” the commission’s order said.
Summit will construct the 650-megawatt co-generation plant for $700 million to $800 million on land along Avenue M at Sierra Highway on the border with Lancaster. It is expected to take 25 months to build and will employ on average 371 workers over the construction period. Operating the power plant is expected to take 23 full-time employees.