While Calpine‘s new combined-cycle power plant uses advanced air emissions control technology, the utility also is using mobile emissions credits gained by retrofitting older vehicles to reduce the region’s overall carbon footprint.
Calpine’s Otay Mesa Energy Center, which is fueled by natural gas and uses next-generation air emissions technology, began making power in October, but only in recent days began operating commercially.
It has a capacity of nearly 600 megawatts, all of which will be purchased by customers of San Diego Gas & Electric, according to a press release.
The facility is the largest air-cooled power plant in California, which negates the water impact from a typical power plant that must use ground or municipal water to cool recirculated steam, according to a press release.
Water-cooled plants also can have an adverse effect on marine life, reports San Diego News Room, which also notes that the new power plant will enable the dismantling of the old South Bay power plant.
Regarding the mobile emissions credits, Calpine has retrofitted aging marine vessels and sanitation trucks with updated emission controls.
Calpine says that the permanently retired emissions credits more than offset emissions from the plant, meaning that the San Diego region now has better air quality than before the plant began operation.