Power plant debate sparks to life

The smoldering issue of building a power plant bordering the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood to replace an older and more polluting one is expected to heat up again after the company selected to construct it walked away from the deal.

A new agreement with Cleveland-based Industrial Construction Corp. to build the project is expected to be introduced to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, said Barbara Hale, assistant general manager of power for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

In October, the board voted 8-3 in support of the previous proposal. At that time, The City was in talks with Illinois-based J-Power USA Development Co. to build the project.

Advocates of the project say it is the only way to ensure the closure of the more polluting power plant, the Mirant’s Potrero Hill power plant, while opponents say renewable energy sources and not a fuel-burning power plant should be built.

However, The City must have another energy source of equal capacity to shut down the Mirant plant, according to the California Independent System Operator.

The new proposal with ICC is expected to be introduced Tuesday and then debated in a board committee. It would require a vote by the full board.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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