Hayward could have another power plant

December 17, 2007 8:02:09 PM PST
The proposal to build a second power generating plant in Hayward is being met with stiff opposition.

Some residents living near the site of the proposed Eastshore Energy Center say they're concerned for their health.

"I'm not sure it's really necessary. And it's going to be rough on the fumes coming off it, and it's not going to help the air situation," said Margaret Wiley from Hayward.

Margaret Wiley was one of many who came to oppose the new 115 megawatt natural gas fired power plant at a hearing sponsored by the California Energy Commission.

Tierra Energy of Denver, Colorado wants to build the $140-million dollar facility. It's supposed to operate when demand is highest providing power to an estimated 80,000 customers. Plans call for it to go into operation in 2009.

"We feel it's a great location. It's in an industrial district of Hayward that fits in well with the existing infrastructure," said Greg Trewitt from Tierra Energy.

Another larger power plant nearby has already been approved, but it's being challenged in court. Hayward and Alameda County formally oppose this project.

The objections are widespread. Pilots say it will take away airspace they need.

"We've had some concerns as to the aviation issue with Hayward Executive Airport. We've shown that that's not an issue, and are hoping that the California Energy Commission will agree with us," said Trewitt.

Hayward mayor Michael Sweeney says he's convinced Hayward residents will suffer pollution for the benefit of energy users on the Peninsula.

"So it seems to us rather hypocritical to say to the citizens of Hayward we want you to live with the pollution, but we want the energy to go elsewhere," said Hayward mayor Michael Sweeney.

"It could provide voltage support providing that power across the bay, yes, but it's main focus is the local reliability," said Trewitt.

Approval could be months if not years away. Hayward city officials say if it is approved their next stop will be court.

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