CARLSBAD — Three North County cities have taken stands against the proposed NRG power plant. The mayors of the cities of Vista, Solana Beach and Del Mar have written letters to the city of Carlsbad stating their opposition to the project due to its regional impacts on air quality, scenic view sheds and coastal resources.
A letter from Vista Mayor Morris Vance expressed concerns about the project’s environmental impacts, particularly the effect of its carbon emissions. “At a time when state mandates require considerable greenhouse gas reductions, this increased air pollution is unacceptable for our region,” Vance said.
The proposed power plant would reportedly generate 850,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the region, representing a nearly tenfold increase over current levels. Opponents believe that NRG’s proposed power plant also represents a misuse of the region’s visual and environmental resources. “Combined with the impacts already identified by the California Energy Commission to air quality, visual resources and water supply, this project is deemed undesirable on many levels,” Solana Beach Mayor Mike Nichols said in a letter from the Solana Beach City Council.
This concern was also held by Del Mar Mayor Crystal Crawford. “With its location near the primary northern entrance to our region, the power plant does not bode well for San Diego County’s image as a prime coastal destination,” Crawford said on behalf of the Del Mar City Council.
The NRG project is a proposed 540-watt power plant. The project would be located at the 95-acre site of the existing Encina Power Station, which has been operating on California’s coastline for more than 50 years. Plans for the new power plant do not include tearing down the old power plant. If approved, two power plants will operate at the coastal location.
NRG submitted an Application for Certification to the California Energy Commission for the power plant in September 2007. The CEC has the authority to approve the project. A decision is expected later this year.