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Calpine cancels gas peaker as Southern California Edison bets on batteries

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Calpine cancels gas peaker as Southern California Edison bets on batteries

The California Energy Commission terminated its review of Calpine Corp.'s proposed Mission Rock Energy Center northwest of Los Angeles after the Texas-based power generation giant withdrew its application for a planned 255-MW natural gas-fired power plant with 25 MW of battery storage.

Calpine pitched the simple-cycle plant in December 2015 as a peaking resource to help integrate renewable energy and support grid reliability in Southern California Edison Co.'s Moorpark region as several older gas generators were slated for retirement. Mission Rock marks the second recent cancellation of a major natural gas power plant in the region; NRG Energy Inc. scrapped a planned 262-MW facility in Oxnard, Calif., in December 2018.

The Energy Commission suspended its review of the Calpine and NRG Energy applications one year ago, pending the outcome of Southern California Edison's search for alternatives.

In April, the Edison International utility revealed the results of that search, asking the California Public Utilities Commission to approve resource adequacy contracts for 195 MW of large-scale and distributed energy storage projects, with no new natural gas plants. In addition, the utility is building a new $45 million transmission line to serve the area.

Calpine did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the canceled project.