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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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“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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It’s getting close to the midnight, the public comments have wrapped up and now the 10-members of the OCWD Board of Directors are now making their comments and indicating how they’ll vote. [There were dozens and dozens of speakers, all of whom voiced opposition to the plant. Among them were Anaheim councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman, Fullerton Councilwoman Jan Flory, and Assemblyman Travis Allen, as well as Assemblyman Tom Daly’s chief of staff.]

Director Phil Anthony urged his colleagues to listen to the community concerns and vote “no” on the power plant lease.

Director Harry Sidhu said he would be voting “no.”

Director Steve Sheldon is speaking and trying to convince the public in attendance that environmental impacts will be mitigated, and that is will be very attractive when it is done. Now he’s telling the audience that their “business leaders” will put a Target on the site. He’s sounding like a “yes” vote, which is expected.

11:46 p.m.: Director Phil Anthony just made a motion to reject the proposed lease, seconded by Sidhu. Now Director Denis Bilodeau has asked to speak, and is attacking the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s opposition campaign, accusing it of a “scare campaign” and telling the audience they’ve been duped. He sounds like a “yes” vote – another non-surprise.

11:54 p.m.: Now Director Cathy Green is speaking, She prepared two statements for tonight – a “yes” position and a “no” position. She’s running through a laundry list of recreational venues that are on OCWD land; I’m assuming this is a testament to establish OCWD as a good community citizen before she reveals whether she is voting “yes” or “no.”

11:58 p.m.: Green said she’s voting “yes,” saying more power generation is needed (which no one is disputing). She points out that there’s a power plant near residences in Huntington Beach (which isn’t really relevant here) and then said he charge is to represent her cities, Huntington Beach and part of Fountain Valley — her direct implication being how it impacts Anaheim and the nearby area isn’t her concern. She then made an alternative motion to approve the lease and “see what we can do to mitigate the impacts” (answer – not much). Bilodeau seconded. This motion will be taken up first.

12:02 a.m.: Now Director Vince Sarmiento is speaking. He’s criticizing the opposition to the power plant proposal, and he said he’s disappointed with the City of Anaheim and how they’ve handled the re-zoning of the Ball Road Basin. Now he is seeing the other side of the coin and the remoteness of the state approval process for the power plant. Now he’s seeing another side, i.e. the revenues to the OCWD, but at the same time what price does that money come with, and finally arrives at a “no” vote based on the absence of local control over the process.

12:09 a.m.: Director Bruce Whitaker speaking, comparing it to the El Toro airport fight. He’s saying they aren’t really voting to approve a power plant, but to allow the power plant proposal to go forward [that might be called a distinction without a difference], and also went on about how daunting and difficult the California Energy Commission (CEC) process (a tacit way of saying it is unlikely to be approved by the CEC).

Whitaker is going to vote “yes” on the power plant lease. [Too bad this is a power plant and not a homeless shelter.]

That leaves Directors Roger Yoh and Shawn Dewane. if either of them vote “yes,” then the lease will be approved.

12:16 a.m.: Board president Shawn Dewane has called the vote on Green’s motion.

Interesting: the district counsel answered Director Sheldon’s question about the agreement as if it had already passed.

The Board approved the power plant lease on a 6-4 vote.

Directors Bilodeau, Sheldon, Dewane, Yoh, Green and Whitaker voted to approve – while maintaining they really aren’t voting for a power plant.

Directors Anthony, Sidhu, Sarmiento and Barr voted no.

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:

Mike/Bruce:

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.

-Steve

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I’ve posted previously on a proposal by Competitive Power Ventures to lease the Ball Road basin from the Orange County Water District in order to build a 400 megawatt, natural gas-fueled power plant. The site is adjacent to the Santa Ana River and the Anaheim Auto Center and near residential neighborhoods and office parks.

CPV wants to lease the Ball Road Basin in order to submit it as a power generation site in response to a Request-for-Offers issued by Southern California Edison (SCE), seeking new power generation projects. The rapidity with which the OC Water District has moved on this unsolicited offer from CPV is driven by the RFO’s December 12 deadline.

A recent development that the media has missed bodes ill for CPV’s plan. SCE released a map to guide bidders like CPV as to the value of potential power plant locations:

SCE power map

Click here for the PDF of the full map with legend.

This is bad news for CPV.

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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.

 

 

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

 Questions:

– Most Important Issues in Anaheim

– City on Right or Wrong Track

– Three Favorable News   

– SoCal Energy Supply Concerned

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Anaheim resident Steve Faessel addressed the community meeting.

Anaheim resident Steve Faessel addressed the community meeting.

Approximately 200 people turned out to a community meeting at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, organized by the nascent “Stop the Power Plant” campaign. The Phoenix Club is one of the Anaheim businesses that will be directly impacted by Competitive Power Ventures proposal to build a 400-600MW power plant on the Ball Road Basin site, which CPV would lease from the Orange County Water District.

Residents heard from former Anaheim Planning Commissioner Steve Faessel, who lives near the proposed plant and is leading a residents component of the “Stop the Power Plant” coalition. Faessel led them through a discussion of the particulars of the proposed plant, and was followed by Anaheim Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Ament the Chamber is leading the business-side of the coalition). Jared Hardin of Hardin Honda (which is right next to the proposed plant) and Deputy City Manager Greg Garcia also spoke and answered questions.

Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman was there to show his support for the effort to stop the power plant proposal. The City of Anaheim proposes purchasing the site from the OCWD in order to build a public sports park complex for the benefit and enjoyment of residents of Anaheim and neighboring communities. OCWD Director (and Orange Councilman) Denis Bilodeau was among those in attendance.

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Ball Road Basin plantAn energy company called Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) wants to lease the 20-acre Ball Road Basin (on Ball Road, along the Santa Ana River) from the Orange County Water District (OCWD), in order to build a 400-600 megawatt power plant there. The CPV plant would sell electricity to Edison (Anaheim residents are serviced by the Anaheim Public Utilities).

OCWD is expected to vote on the CPV proposal by early December.

Ball Rd. basin sports parkThe plan is opposed by the City of Anaheim — which wants to purchase the site for a sports park, instead — and a growing “Stop the Power Plant” coalition of Anaheim residents and businesses. This Monday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. there will be a community meeting at The Phoenix Club, where representatives from the city and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce will provide information and answer questions about impacts of the proposed power plant and the city’s plan for a sports park.

“Stop The Power Plant” also has a Facebook page you can “like.”

Once again, the community meeting is Monday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. at The Phoenix Club.

According to sources, the power plant proposal is unanimously opposed by the Mayor and City Council, who recognize that it is not an appropriate or compatible use for the site.   CPV is pulling out the stops and hiring a team of lobbyists to try and change that, and thus far has retained Glaab & Associates, Adam Probolsky and former Anaheim Planning Commissioner Kelly Buffa.

If the OCWD Board of Directors approves the lease agreement, the ultimate approval must come from the California Energy Commission.

Stay tuned!

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