The plant is also exempted the Avenal Energy project from the current air-quality standards and is designed to serve the rising demand for electricity in the San Joaquin Valley of California with efficient technology.

The EPA’s decision to exempt the plant from 2009 pollution standards that require cuts in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide has been resisted by many environmental groups.

The environmentalists plan to appeal the decision based on green house gas emission standards.

Avenal Power spokesman Frank Wilson said the plant has been given the go-ahead from local air quality regulators and will employ best equipment and practices.

A 230KV electric transmission line will be constructed in pursuant to the project that will run parallel to an existing transmission corridor adjacent to the site.

Upon clearing all the hurdles, construction of the plant is scheduled to begin late this year or early next year. Commercial operations of the plant is set to begin in 2013.