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Proposed Calpine Power Plant
aka Metcalf Energy Center

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Thursday, September 16th, 2004 @ 1:34 PM
Subj: Calpine Meeting Notes
From: S. Nelson

My notes from Calpine's construction update meeting held at Martin Murphy Middle School on Wednesday September 15, 2004:

  • In a recent Metro article, Councilmember Williams said the air monitoring stations will be installed by October 1, 2004. The plan announced at the meeting would require three to six months for site acquisition and the installation of the air monitoring equipment. The new installation date will likely be March, 2005.
  • Calpine said they would be soon ordering the pollution monitoring equipment.
  • City of San Jose Director of Planning, Stephen Haase, addressed the planning departmentís role in the monitoring stations. Mr. Haase said he was going to contact the Morgan Hill School District as soon as possible to see if they would lease the city space to install the monitoring stations. The two locations targeted would be Encinal and Los Paseos/Martin Murphy schools.
  • The community commented that Mr. Haase should consider Los Paseos Park for the northern site to avoid lengthy negotiations with the school district.
  • The community expressed disappointed that the planning department has done so little for so long to acquire sites for the monitoring stations. There were questions why Laurel Prevetti from the planning department is no longer responsible. Mr. Haase said she is too busy with other issues.
  • Calpine has only agreed to monitor the pollutants NOx and carbon monoxide. The community repeated its request to also monitor for particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). Calpine said they would be willing to include particulate monitoring equipment at the stations if the city of San Jose pays the cost. The particulate monitoring equipment was reported to cost $12,000 per station.
  • Calpine said they are opposed to monitoring for particulate matter because there would be no way of knowing if high levels were caused by the Metcalf Energy Center. The community pointed out this issue also exists for NOx and carbon monoxide but Calpine has agreed to monitor for those pollutants. For example there would be no way of knowing if high NOx levels were from the Metcalf Energy Center or the cars driving down highway 101.
  • Councilmember Forrest Williams said the city and Calpine continue to discuss the matter of monitoring for particulate matter.
  • The Metcalf Energy Center will start burning fuel in March 2005 during commissioning. Commercial operation will start in June 2005.
  • The Metcalf Advisory Committee meetings have been suspended by Calpine and city for months because of the lawsuit filed by the coalition of Great Oaks Water, Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group, and a number of residents against the city over the agreement between Calpine and the city.
  • Last nightís meeting was sponsored only by Calpine, not the city of San Jose and was not covered by the Brown Act.
  • The community was very concerned about the monitoring stations not being operational at least one year before the Metcalf Energy Center starts operation. City officials and Calpine blamed a lawsuit filed by the coalition for the delays. Members of the audience pointed out the lawsuit has only an issue for the last six months or so while the agreement between Calpine and the city was signed back in 2001.
  • The community asked if Calpine could wait until winds were blowing away from the neighborhood before commissioning and startup. Calpine responded that startup times were decided by market conditions, not wind patterns.
  • A channel 2 news team and a Metro reporter were present. The Mercury News did not cover the meeting.

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