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Cob plant gets permit

Published Jan. 11, 2004


The proposed Cob Energy Facility has passed the first of three regulatory hurdles on the road to becoming reality.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued a standard air contaminant discharge permit for the proposed 1,130-megawatt gas fueled power plant off of West Langell Valley road. The permit was issued Dec. 30.

Now for the plant to move from the drawing board to the construction phase, it needs approval from the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, and a decision from the Bonneville Power Administration on whether the plant can be hooked up to the power grid.

Rob Trotta, Cob project manager for Chicago-based Peoples Energy, said that if all goes smoothly the site certificate and approval from the BPA would be finalized in the fall.

But even if all the permits are in line, there will need to be the right energy market climate for the plant to be built.

"There are two key aspects to this facility - there is permit, and market," he said. "This project won't be a field of dreams; we won't build it and they will come. We need long term contracts."

So far, all forecasts show that there will be demand for the plant's power in the energy market, Trotta said.

Also in late December, the Oregon Department of Energy released a draft proposed order recommending that the plant be sited.

To get public reaction to the draft, the Department of Energy will hold two public hearings on Jan. 22 - one at 2 p.m. at the Lorella Community Hall and the second at 7 p.m. at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, exhibit hall No. 2, in Klamath Falls.

The department is also accepting written comments until 5 p.m. Feb. 5. Comments should be sent to Cathy Van Horn at the Department of Energy, 625 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR 97301.

For more information about the DEQ air permit, call Bonnie Hough in the DEQ's Bend office at (541) 388-6146 ext. 223 or toll free in Oregon at (800) 452-4011.

On the Net: www.energy.state.or.us/siting/facility.htm.





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