California air quality officials will hear an appeal from SMART Energy Group regarding a construction permit that was granted to build a diesel power plant to serve Kirkwood area residents. The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday in Markleeville, Calif.
The new power plant would replace the one that burned to the ground on January 1st of this year. Since the fire, Kirkwood has relied on a temporary power plant while working on a new source of electrical power.
SMART Energy Group believes the permanent generating station should run on natural gas.
On May 24, the district permitted a new plant be built with six diesel generators that could be ready under a one-year permit. Centering around the issue are concerns that using natural gas would require a California Environmental Quality Act assessment, a process that could delay construction for a year.
Under both options, fuel would need to be trucked in, as the area is off the National Power Grid.