Encina Power Station

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Encina Power Station
Location of Encina Power Station in San Diego County, California
Country United States
Location Carlsbad, California
Coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
Status Operational
Commission date 1954
Owner(s) NRG Energy
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Natural gas
Secondary fuel Fuel oil
Power generation
Units operational 5
Nameplate capacity 950 MW

The Encina Power Station (EPS) is a large natural gas and oil-fueled electricity generating plant located in Carlsbad, California, in San Diego County. Constructed in 1954, it is one of the major suppliers of electricity for the region as well as one of the region's oldest. The plant is owned by NRG Energy.[1]


EPS sits on the southern shore of the outer segment of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon; once a stinking pool at low tide, it was opened to a continuous tidal flow to create a cooling system that was constructed along with the plant. Now home to Blue Herons, Ibises, and a multitude of aquatic life, the lagoon is attached to the ocean and other waterways through rising tide levels and various small creeks. The lagoon serves as EPS' source for its once-through cooling and is also owned by NRG Energy.


NRG had announced plans to expand the Encina Power Station with the construction of a new 588-megawatt plant on a plot of land adjacent to the current site.[2] This has been met with considerable political opposition by local homeowners and environmentalists.[3] The City of Carlsbad issued an injunction against the construction of a new plant, but as of the summer of 2010 plans for the new plant were still moving forward.[4]

There are also plans to build a desalination plant at the site. A January 17, 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal states, "In November, Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources Corp. won a key regulatory approval to build the US$300 million water-desalination plant in Carlsbad, north of San Diego. The facility would produce 50,000,000 US gallons (190,000,000 L; 42,000,000 imp gal) of drinking water per day, enough to supply about 100,000 homes ... Improved technology has cut the cost of desalination in half in the past decade, making it more competitive ... Poseidon plans to sell the water for about US $950 per acre-foot [1,200 cubic metres (42,000 cu ft)]. That compares with an average US$700 an acre-foot [1200 m³] that local agencies now pay for water." [5] $1,000 per acre-foot works out to $3.06 for 1,000 gallons, or $.81 for 1 cubic meter, which is the unit of water measurement that residential water users are accustomed to being billed in.[6]

In November 2012, the state court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s rejection of the last remaining legal challenge to the desalination project, and financing the following month. Construction began in 2013 and was 25% complete by early 2014.[7]

The closing of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS)[8][9] about 30 miles north[10] led to city officials approving the new state-of-the-art power plant in January 2014.[11][12] As of May 2014, a gas-fired facility will sit adjacent to the Encina Power Station and eventually replace the 400-ft smokestack.[13] In May 2015, plans to modify the plant to a natural gas facility were approved by the Public Utilities Commission; construction is planned to begin in 2016.[14]


  1. Tenera Environmental. 316 (b) Water Cooling Intake Effects, Entrainment and Impingement Sampling Plan. Rep. San Luis Obispo, 2004.
  2. “Encina Power Plant Expansion Moving Forward despite Opposition.” San Diego News Room, 12 Jan. 2010 ; California Energy Commission entry
  3. Joyce, Ed. “Carlsbad Group Opposes Encina Power Plant Expansion | KPBS.org.” KPBS San Diego: Public Radio, TV and Web. 11 Jan. 2010.
  4. Burgin, Aaron. “Carlsbad Looks to Extend Ban on Power Plant.” San Diego Union Tribune. 9 October 2010.
  5. Kranhold, Kathryn. (2008-01-17) Water, Water, Everywhere... . Online.wsj.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  6. Desalination gets a serious look Friday, March 21, 2008. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  7. San Diego County Water Authority. Carlsbad Desalination Project. Retrieved on 2014-05-04.
  8. Lee, Morgan & Garrick, David. Power plant proposal reviving; SDG&E, Carlsbad negotiating with company planning to build 'peaker' plant Dec. 3, 2013. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2014-05-04.
  9. Wisland, Laura. Will California Go Green or Go Gas? June 24, 2014. Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved on 2014-08-18.
  10. Nemec, Richard. NRG CEO Still Expects OK for SoCal Gas-Fired Plant August 8, 2014. NGI's Daily Gas Price Index Retrieved on 2014-08-18.
  11. Garrick, David. Carlsbad inks deal for new power plant Jan. 14, 2014 San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2014-05-04.
  12. Wright, Ellen. - Proceedings for proposed power plant move forward The Coast News. Aug. 11, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-08-18.
  13. Utility Puts Carlsbad Power Plant on Fast Track - New Power Generator Pursued in Carlsbad 2014-05-28. Retrieved on 2014-08-18.
  14. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.