Calpine Corporation and General Electric Company have agreed to build a new gas-fired power station in southern California. The new plant, scheduled to go live in 2008, will debut GE's new gas turbine technology, the H System.

The new power plant, known as the Inland Empire Energy Center, will be located in Riverside County, California. Licensed by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on December 17, 2003, the project will be capable of meeting the energy needs of almost 600,000 households in the state.

California set seven consecutive demand records this past summer and supply and demand fundamentals strongly indicate a need for new power plants in Southern California, said John Rice, president and CEO of GE Energy. Through the construction and operation of North America’s most advanced power plant of its kind, the Inland Empire Energy Center will be poised to provide crucial electricity for California, when and where it is needed the most.

The Inland Empire Energy Center will be based on two GE 107H combined-cycle systems, GE’s latest gas turbine technology. The H System represents the most efficient, gas turbine combined-cycle system available to the energy industry, according to Calpine.

Calpine will retain development responsibility for the new facility and secure the necessary permit amendments for the project’s new equipment configuration. Construction is expected to begin this year and anticipated to take a total of three years to complete.

Upon commencement of commercial operations, targeted for mid-2008, Calpine’s Energy Services group will market electricity from the facility through a long-term marketing arrangement with GE. Subsequently, Calpine will sell the power through a variety of long, intermediate and short-term contracts. Following a period of GE ownership, Calpine will purchase the plant and become the sole owner and operator of the facility.