INDUSTRY – A city-supported power plant that will be the first of its kind in the San Gabriel Valley is slated to open July 2008 in Industry, energy officials said. Mayor Dave Perez told about 40 people at a Southern California Air Quality Management District public hearing Tuesday that the city began six years ago looking into developing additional power supplies. Edison Mission Energy is now seeking the state’s approval to build the Walnut Creek Energy Project, a $250million plant that will generate more than 50 megawatts of energy. Each megawatt produces enough energy for 700 homes. “This is not a new idea,” he said. “In 2000, the council decided to go forward with this after the energy crisis.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’City and state representatives expressed their support of the project at the public hearing, although Hacienda Heights resident Tom Chang said he has reservations of a power plant being located within miles of his home. “After your workers leave, I come back to the area,” Chang said, adding he is concerned about the air quality and the plant’s proximity to schools. The estimated health risk from toxic emissions is one in a million, air quality officials said. Sam Atwood, spokesman for the air quality management district in Diamond Bar, said the plant will emit two pollutants that form smog. “That is not a concern really for the neighbors of the plants, but for the folks downwind,” Atwood said. The plant, located in a commercial area in Industry, could run 24 hours a day, although that is not likely, officials said. The plant will be a “peaker” facility and is used during energy shortages, officials said. The facility, which will be east of Azusa Avenue, is designed to run between 20 percent to 40 percent of the time, said Susanne Garfield, spokeswoman for the California Energy Commission. In California, there are peaker plants and “baseload” facilities, which run more than 75 percent of time and are the “work horses” of the electricity system. “The electricity system relies on both. The baseloads provide the bulk, and the additional demand is met by the peakers,” Garfield said. The plants have played a significant role in the state since the blackouts in 2000. In 2001, then-Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that allowed for a streamlined permit process to help meet additional energy needs. There are 31 operating or in the planning stages in California, and more than 2,500 power plants in the state, according to the California Energy Commission. The public hearing is among several hosted by different agencies. If permits are approved, organizers expect the construction to begin in early 2007, they said. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!