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Community News

Community Meeting hosted by Calpine
December 6, 2001

Reported and written by Scott Scholz

Calpine Corporation hosted their first community meeting regarding the Metcalf Energy Center since the project received final certification from the California Energy Commission November 19, 2001. Ken Abreu, development manager for the project, said the development phase of the project was nearing an end and he will only be with the project a couple more months. Mr. Abreu then introduced Nick LaPorte who will be in charge of the construction phase of the project.

Mr. LaPorte stated that he is a Calpine employee and has been with the Metcalf project for the last five months. He lives in Folsom, but will be staying here during the Metcalf construction. He said he is "ready to go into the field." He stated that today was the first activity on the site. Top Grade Construction has started making improvements to the Blanchard Road grade crossing. He said the site is real wet right now and that there is no point getting equipment on the site and stuck creating environmental impacts. They will wait until the ground dries. He then briefed the audience of about forty attendees of upcoming construction activity that will be taking place.

Tree cutting will begin soon by another contractor. Silt fencing to protect the waterways will be erected. A truck washing station will be created to clean mud off the trucks as they leave the site before they enter the local roadways. He said there will be a full-time water truck to keep fugitive dust down on the site. Once all of this environmental prep work is completed, the grading operation should begin. They will strip the top soil, bring in fill and additional top soil and then build the pads. He said south of the site needs to be conditioned for a construction laydown area.

Once that is complete, the foundations can be started. Because the power plant equipment weighs a lot, piles will have to be driven. They will then pour concrete and steel for the foundations. Mr. LaPorte said it should take about five months before the first concrete is seen probably in April. He said Calpine will have a full-time compliance manager, Kristen Stipes, on site ensuring all conditions of certification are being followed. Mr. LaPorte also announced who the the new General Contractor is for the project. MA Mortensen has replaced Bechtel. Mr. LaPorte then opened the meeting up for questions from the audience.

Q. Have you finalized the architectural treatment? Will it look like the office building or the roller coaster?
A. Ken Abreu responded that the Mayor and Forrest Williams said they wanted something like an office building. Calpine is not there yet, but close.

Q. A man from the motorcycle shop near the site asked about the status of the ingress/egress for Blanchard Road.
A. Calpine responded that it is the first thing they are doing in the next day or two. The City has given blessing in the last few days.

Q. How deep is the foundation going to be?
A. Mr. LaPorte responded that in the OK area the piles will be 60 feet deep and in the not so OK areas they will be 100 feet.

Q. Drinking water is there. Will there be a problem with that?
A. Mr. LaPorte responded that he isn't a geologist, but there shouldn't be a problem.

Q. Where is cooling water coming from?
A. Recycled water from water treatment plant.

Q. Will there be a pipeline?
A. Yes, from Silver Creek via Monterey Road. The City approved these segments in October.

Q. Has an amendment been filed with the CEC for the pipeline route change?
A. Ken Abreu responded not yet, but will in a few weeks.

Q. Where will water go?
A. Most is evaporated. The rest goes in the city sewer.

Q. Won't it smell?
A. No. It is nearing drinking water standards.

Q. Will this amendment be filed under the Governor's Executive Order?
A. Steve Munro, CEC Compliance Manager for Metcalf said it will be processed. The new proposal will be compared to the original proposal.

Q.Is this going to be drinking water evaporated?
A. No.

Q. Is this used for drinking water anywhere in this city?
A. No.

Q. Will evaporation effect humidity in area?
A. No.

Q. What do we do if we see steam?
A. Steve Munro looked up condition of certification.

Q. What water will be used for preconstruction?
A. A local agricultural well.

Q. Who will you buy the water from?
A. A local farmer.

Q. Do you know where Mr. Munro?
A. Mr. Munro responded that he just found out today when he walked in.

Q. How much water will you be evaporating?
A. 3 million gallons.

Q. How much does it take to change weather in local area?
A. Ken Abreu said he didn't know.

Q. What effect will the widening of Highway 101 have on bringing the gas pipeline to the site from the other side of 101?
A. Mr. LaPorte said he was unaware of the highway widening, but said the pipeline construction would begin next June and would last three months.

Q. When will cultural inspectors be on site?
A. Steve DeYoung, environmental manager for Metcalf, said they are on board now and will be on the site whenever excavation is taking place.

Q. In event of a drought, what are you going to do for cooling water?
A. Recycled water will be available even in a drought.

Q. How can you affirm all of your reassurances when each place is unique?
A. Ken Abreu responded that they have had many meetings and the project has been certified.

Q. How much property do you own?
A. 20 acres and half of Tulare Hill.

Q. Will the Tulare Hill area be available for use by the public?
A. 116 acres may be open for docent tours.

Q. Who asked for the pipeline route change, Calpine or the City of San Jose?
A. Ken Abreu responded the City of San Jose wanted this route change. He said Calpine is a customer of recycled water and it is not dictating how the city gets the water to Metcalf.

Q. Will you be online in summer 2003?
A. Mr. LaPorte responded we will be online in January or February of 2004. It takes 25 months of construction.

The meeting was wrapping up but Calpine announced that they will have more meetings.

Q. Where was this meeting announced?
A. It was noticed in the newspaper and on two community web sites. Someone also said that Forrest Williams also distributed to his email list.

Q. When is ground breaking?
A. In the next few days.

Q. Will there be a ceremony?
A. Maybe after the first of the year.

Q. How long has the new general contractor which replaced Bechtel been building power plants?
A. Building for 30 years.

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