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One of the milestones on Competitive Power Ventures’s proposal to build a 400 megawatt power plant in OCWD-owned land in Anaheim arrives next week.

On Thursday, January 30, Edison will notifies offerors who responded to its 2013 request-for-offers whether or not they’re projects have made the shortlist for consideration for contracts.

If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their  proposal for a Ball Road Basin power plant is dead – as far as this RFO is concerned.

Readers will recall that the OC Water District Board of Directors voted on December 9 to approve leasing Ball Road Basin to CPV for the purpose of building a power plant (although some directors declaimed they were not actually voting for the construction of a power plant even as they voted to approve a land lease for that express purpose).

The vote was 6-4, the bare majority necessary to approve the lease, which would have failed on a 5 to 5 tie. One of those six was Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was appointed in August of 2012. [Three of the 10 OCWD directors are appointed by the city councils of Fullerton, Anaheim and Santa Ana, respectively; the remaining seven are elected by single-member districts. OCWD directors are paid $221.13 per day of service, up to a maximum of 10 days per month. They’re also eligible for health insurance, life/accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement benefits and an electronic equipment allowance.]

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The Anaheim Neighborhood Association is hosting a series of “Hot Topic” community meetings this year, each one focused on a front-burner issue for the city.

The first meeting is January 8 at 7:00 p.m. at 319 N. Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim. The topic is the controversial power plant that Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) proposes building on the Ball Road Basin, a non-functioning recharge basin owned by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and adjacent to the Anaheim Auto Mall and near established residential neighborhoods and high-profile venues such as the Honda Center.

On December 9, the OCWD Board of Directors, by a vote of 6-4, approved the 20-acre parcel to CPV (which hopes to win a power generation contract with Southern California Edison).

What is the Anaheim Neighborhood Association?:

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cathy greenOne of the arguments against dividing Anaheim into single-member council districts is that it makes the council dynamic more parochial and fractious because councilmembers will tend to place the interests of their section of the city above the interests of the city as a whole.

We saw that in action on December 9 when members of the OC Water District Board of Directors were explaining why they were voting for or against leasing the Ball Road Basin for the construction of a power plant. Seven of the 10 members of the OCWD Board are elected from single-member districts (they call them “divisions”). Director Cathy Green represents Division 6, which is composed of parts of Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

Green told the crowd of Anaheim residents and business employees she had prepared explanations for casting a vote in favor and against the power plant least, and announced she would support leasing Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures. Green said the lease would generate revenue for the OCWD, which would benefit her constituents in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach — and she reminded us that it was their interests she had been elected to represent. Not the interests of the OCWD as a whole (which includes how the district interacts with and impacts neighboring communities), but the interests of her Division 6 residents.

It’s useful to note here that this vote went against Anaheim by the barest of margins: 6-4. If one more director had voted “no” instead of “yes,” the lease proposal would have been defeated and Anaheim would have to spend the next 18 months fighting the siting of a power plant on the Ball Road Basin.

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When the OCWD Board of Director’s voted 6-4 on December 9 to lease the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), it was the first step on a longer road CPV must travel to get permission to build a 400 megawatt power plant on the site.

CPV needed the lease agreement approved in order to meet the December 16, 2013 deadline set in a Southern California Edison’s Request-For-Offers for power generation. There are still a number of hurdles CPV needs to clear before it can actually build a plant, and here is a timeline of that process:

January 30, 2014: Edison notifies offerors who have been placed on the shortlist for consideration for contracts. If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their proposal for a Ball Road Basin plant is dead for the time being.

May 22, 2014: If CPV’s Ball Road Basin proposal makes the shortlist, May 22 is the deadline to complete negotiation of agreement with Edison.

May 29, 2014: Deadline to submit a final offer.

June 26, 2014: Last date for notification of successful offers and to sign agreements.

If CPV succeeds in negotiation a power agreement with Edison for the proposed Ball Road Basin project, it will then begin the California Energy Commission’s 12-month review and approval process.

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“We are not approving a project, we are simply approving a lease,” water district board member Stephen Sheldon said as the meeting slipped past midnight at the agency’s headquarters in Fountain Valley.

– Orange County Register, December 10, 2013

That’s what is known as a distinction without a difference. You’d need an atomic microscope to split that hair.

Let’s say the lease wasn’t for a power plant but for a nuclear waste disposal site. Would anyone buy “We’re not approving a nuclear dump…”?

Yet this is the kind of sophistry employed by most of the OCWD directors who voted to lease Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the purpose of building a power plant.

OCWD Director Bruce Whitaker told the assembled members of the public that he wasn’t voting to approve a power plant “but to let the process move forward.”

Why let the “process move forward” unless you think Ball Road Basin is a good place to build a power plant? Why approve a land lease for a power plant unless one thinks the power plant is a good use of that land?

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The controversy over a proposal to build a power plant on an OC Water District parcel in Anaheim erupted seemingly out of the blue just a few weeks ago, it’s reasonable to ask where it all started? Especially since the OCWD Board is set to vote on the proposal tomorrow evening.

Speaking to the Fullerton City Council, OCWD General Manager Mike Marcus said the district determined six or seven years ago that the Ball Road Basin had no percolative capacity and was unsuitable for use as a groundwater re-charge basin. It was decided to sell or lease the land (which is an interesting statement since I’ve had an OCWD Director tell me the district would never, ever sell the property]. OCWD has been working with Anaheim for the last few years seeking to have the Ball Road Basin re-zoned from open space to commercial, in order to develop it for commercial uses as a revenue-generator.

The power plant proposal from Competitive Power Ventures did not come about as the result of an open bidding process in which the OCWD issued an RFP and selected CPV’s proposal from a pool of responsive proposals for a commercial re-use of the Ball Road Basin.

Steve Sheldon 150x150_0According to this July 26, 2013 e-mail from OCWD Director Steve Sheldon to Marcus and OCWD Director of Property Management Bruce Dosier, the wheels were put motion this summer:


I recently meet with Janice Glaab and her client, Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV), pertaining to a six month ENA for the Ball Street basin so that they can study the area to propose a 20-25 year ground lease. I understand that they meet with Phil, Denis and some City of Anaheim officials as well. Apparently their timeframe is relatively short because with the closure of San Onofre the PUC will be issuing RFP’s for power plants and they are identifying various sites. They will be submitting a letter on Monday and potentially a draft ENA (for Joel to review). Since this concept appears interesting I would like to call a Property Comm meeting for Friday, Aug, 2 to discuss the issue.

I am interested in an your feedback and comments. Also, please see below and attached.


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Anaheim residents, business reps and civic leaders urging OCWD Board to oppose the CPV power plant.

Anaheim residents, business reps and civic leaders urging OCWD Board to oppose the CPV power plant.

If you had to pick an unlikely venue for a strong demonstration of grass-roots energy, you probably couldn’t find one more unlikely than the board room of the Orange County Water District – tucked away in Fountain Valley —  at noon on a Friday.

But that was the scene a 100-plus crowd of people who live and work in Anaheim, and answered the Stop The Power Plant coalition’s call to come and speak against the proposed building of a 400 megawatt power plant on an OCWD-owned site in Anaheim. Mobilizing a crowd of that size on two-days notice to attend a mid-day meeting miles away in a different city is a real measure of the intensity of community opposition to building a power plant on Ball Road Basin.

The speakers included nearby residents; employees from Anaheim Auto Center who took time off from work to speak; operators and  patrons of the Anaheim Equestrian Center; Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray; and Anaheim Chamber President Todd Ament, who is helping lead the Stop The Power Plant coalition of residents and businesses.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray speaking against CPV proposal at OCWD.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray speaking against CPV proposal at OCWD.

Impressive as that showing was, stopping the CPV proposal will entail continued pressure on the OCWD Board of Directors, who voted 6-2 in closed session on Friday to continue negotiating a leasing agreement for the land with the power plant developer, Competitive Power Ventures.

The next regular OCWD Board of Directors meeting is this Wednesday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. (the Board will again discuss the power plant in closed session), and the Stop the Power Plant coalition is planning to show up in force.

At least five of the 10 OCWD Directors must vote to oppose leasing the Ball Road Basin to CPV for the lease agreement deal to fail.  If the OCWD votes to press ahead and lease the land to CV anyway, it is equally important that the California Energy Commission – which has the final say over the power plant proposal — sees the community opposition to this site was started quickly and grew with each passing week. The CEC traditionally denies approval when there is strong community opposition. Attending OCWD Board meetings and speaking out ensures the CEC sees a public record of broad, intense community opposition.

Candidly, given the breadth and intensity of community opposition (which is only growing with the passage of time) it is difficult to see why the OCWD Board would vote to lease the basin to CPV for a power plant proposal that is highly unlikely to be approved by the CEC. The OCWD apparently sees this as an opportunity to generate revenue from the site for a short or long period of time, regardless of whether the power plant is ultimately approved – although we shall have to see the details of the lease agreement when it is brought to the OCWD Board of consideration (presumably at the December 9 board meeting).

The Orange County Water District has scheduled a special board meeting for Friday at 12:10 to discuss Competitive Power Ventures bid to lease the district’s Ball Road Basin in order build a 400-600MY power plant – bordered by the Santa Ana River, Ball Road and the Anaheim Auto Center.

Click here to see the agenda and here. for the staff report.

The obvious is question is why the need to call a special session to discuss the power plant proposal when the Board’s next regular meeting is only a few days later?

The CPV proposal is being opposed by a growing coalition of Anaheim residents and businesses, who packed last week’s OCWD Board meeting to speak in unified opposition not to additional power generation – which no one questions – but to siting a power plant on the Ball Road Basin.

CPV needs the OCWD Board of Directors to approve a lease by December 12 — which is Edison’s deadline for power generation proposals. If the 10-member OCWD board votes to lease the land to CPV, the power plant proposal goes directly to the California Energy Commission for approval — completely bypassing the City of Anaheim planning/approval process.

Six OCWD directors must vote “yes” to lease the land for a power plant. If five directors vote no, then no power plant on the Ball Road Basin.

To send a message of opposition to the OCWD Board of Directors, click on this link.



IMG_2824There was a strong turnout of Anaheim residents and businesses at tonight’s OC Water District Board of Directors meeting in Fountain Valley to speak against a proposal by Competitive Power Ventures to build a 400-600MW power plant next on a site sandwiched between the Santa Ana River and the Anaheim Auto Center, next to Ball Road.

Approximately 150 people showed up, around 30 or so of whom took turns at the podium voicing their opposition to building a power plant at that location. Most of the speakers favored the City of Anaheim’s proposal to build a sports park on the same site: Read the rest of this entry »

lady on phone

“Would I support a power plant if I knew it would make me richer and more beautiful? Why yes, I would!”

Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) – the energy company wishing to build a 400-600MW power plant on OC Water District Property next to Anaheim’s auto mall, the Phoenix Club, the Honda Center and near residential neighborhoods — paid for a poll of Anaheim residents conducted last night by Western State Policy Research.

An alert reader took detailed notes of the poll, which are provided below:

Favorable or Unfavorable:

– Phoenix Club

– Western State Policy Research

– Competitive Power Ventures

– Honda Center

– LA Angels of Anaheim

– Anaheim Chamber of Commerce

– OC Water District


– Most Important Issues in Anaheim

– City on Right or Wrong Track

– Three Favorable News   

– SoCal Energy Supply Concerned

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