SDG&E seeks to build 'quick-start' power plant to meet 2009 summer demand
Miramar facility to supply power during peak-usage periods

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Christy Heiser


Sempra Energy


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         SAN DIEGO, June 19, 2008 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has filed with the California Public Utilities Commission to build a new, efficient, ‘quick-start’ power plant, fueled by clean natural gas and designed to provide additional energy during times of peak energy demand beginning in summer 2009.  
        “Quick-start power plants were identified in SDG&E’s 2007 long-term energy plan to meet peak energy needs in the region and to provide reliable back-up generation as new renewable energy supplies are added to our system,” said Michael R. Niggli, chief operating officer of SDG&E.  “These quick-start power plants typically run a limited number of hours a year, but they are an essential resource when consumer demand is high during the hottest days.”
        The proposed new 46.5-megawatt power plant would be built in the Miramar area, about 15 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.  The facility will be co-located on the same property with an existing quick-start power plant that went into service in July 2005.

        SDG&E’s long-term energy plan conforms to California’s energy policy, which stresses conservation and energy efficiency first, followed by new renewable energy sources, power plants and electric transmission. Over the past 15 years, SDG&E has invested $585 million in energy-efficiency programs to help customers save more than 2.9 million megawatt-hours of electricity.

        In late 2006, SDG&E initiated a competitive-bid process for new quick-start power plants to be built and operational at several SDG&E sites this summer. The market solicitation was undertaken largely in response to the record-high electricity use during the 2006 summer heat wave and the substantial need for new resources to help SDG&E meet the region’s energy needs now and in the future.
        “We were expecting three new quick-start power plants to be delivering energy at peak times this summer, but the developers of those plants have run into many obstacles,” Niggli said.  “We want to make sure we have adequate local power supplies when they are needed most, especially when conditions beyond our control limit the amount of electricity we can import from outside our region.”

        SDG&E, which filed its application for the Miramar facility earlier this week, is seeking expedited approval from state regulators, so the plant can be operational next summer.

        SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

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