By Sacramento Business Journal

The nonprofit Northern California Power Agency broke ground Monday on a state-of-the-art natural gas power plant in Lodi. It is slated to begin operating in June 2012.

The project is expected to generate hundreds of construction jobs in the Lodi area.

The natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant will be one of the cleanest and most efficient in the nation, according to the power agency, which will own and operate the 280-megawatt Lodi Energy Center. It will be one of the first such facilities in the nation to take advantage of ⿿fast-start⿝ gas turbine technology, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent compared to traditional combined-cycle plants, which combine gas- and steam-turbine technologies.

The technology allows the plant to be shut down and started up within an hour â¿¿ as opposed to four or five hours, allowing the power agency to integrate intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar.

In addition, the power agency is partnering with the city of Lodi to use treated wastewater from the cityâ¿¿s White Slough Water Pollution Control Facility to cool the power plant. The Lodi Energy Center will generate between $500,000 and $1 million a year for the city of Lodi from ongoing sales of the treated wastewater, a multidecade lease of land and sales tax on plant equipment, said Ken Speer assistant general manager for the power agency.

The Northern California Power Agency was established in 1968 to generate, transmit and distribute electric power on behalf of its 17 members, including the city of Roseville, Truckee Donner Public Utility District, and two associate members, the Placer County Water Agency and the Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010