SCE is leading the way to a clean energy future. As part of our commitment to helping the state reduce greenhouse gases, we are integrating more and more renewables while helping to balance cost and reliability with the efficient traditional sources. For this reason, traditional power sources that can generate power on demand are still a critical source of electricity for customers.
The Mountainview Generating Station in Redlands, California, is one example of traditional generation that serves one of the fastest-growing areas in our 11-county service territory. The 1,050-megawatt facility provides enough juice to power more than 701,000 homes when renewable electricity sources from solar and wind are not available.
SCE re-acquired the plant in 2004 after it had been operated and closed by another company. It was upgraded with newer technology and began operating again in December 2005. Mountainview is a highly advanced gas turbine plant, with an ability to start up quickly (within 30 minutes), allowing the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to back up renewable energy sources quickly when customers need power beyond what they can provide. The plant’s “combined-cycle” design allows it to operate more efficiently than other plants, providing more power from less fuel and providing lower-cost power for our customers.
- 1,050 megawatts per contract; 1,110 megawatts maximum capacity
- 37% of SCE’s utility-owned generation (Note that SCE doesn’t own much power generation, but instead buys about 80% of the power on the market.)
- Provides power for more than 351,000 industrial, commercial, and residential customers (or 701,000 homes)
- 85% of the plant’s wastewater is recovered for reuse
- Storm water is collected on site and reused as cooling water
- Related article: New Technology Shows Promise in Water, Energy and Money Savings (InsideEdison)
- Its advanced emission control systems help reduce both nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions.
- The facility was just upgraded in June 2016
- Related article: Plant Upgrade Boosts SCE’s Ability to Respond to Solar, Wind Power (InsideEdison)
- Mountainview meets Best Available Control Technology (as defined by the EPA) for most criteria pollutants, which means the most stringent emission limits or control techniques that have been achieved in practice
- Mountainview also will comply with the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rate in the proposed EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP).
- In 2016, Mountainview’s GHG intensity rate (which measures the amount of GHG emitted per unit of power generated) was 871.51 lbs per megawatt hour (MWh). This means that Mountainview emits almost 100 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt hour less than similar-sized natural-gas-fired generating stations in California, according to the most recent data available.
- In terms of criteria pollutant and GHG emission rates, Mountainview is among the cleanest facilities in the state. As a baseload plant, Mountainview can also provide a large amount of reliable power to the electric grid on a near continuous basis (as opposed to peaker power plants or intermittent sources like solar and wind). This combination makes Mountainview a highly desirable commodity by the CAISO, which maintains and operates California’s electric grid. Because of its high efficiency, CAISO will often dispatch Mountainview before other similar baseload plants in the region.