The Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), which represents more than 250,000 businesses and 2.5 million employees, is the latest organization to come out in support of the Palmdale Power Plant.

In a letter to the governing board members of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD), BizFed urged the backing of the board for the project.

“On behalf of BizFed—representing more than 100 business groups with more than 250,000 business owners across our region—we are writing to support the proposed Palmdale Power Plant as a vitally needed project that will improve reliability of our region’s energy system,” reads the letter. “This project will produce nearly 600 megawatts of electricity—and will help hold down the costs of generating electricity system-wide. The project also achieves goals of environmental and economic advances. The conditions of certification ensure the project will neither result in, nor contribute substantially to, any significant direct, indirect, or cumulative adverse environmental impacts. Meanwhile, it will bring enormous benefits to the Antelope Valley including more than 600 skilled, union construction jobs; 35 direct, permanent jobs; four to six miles of paved roads; and construction of a $20 million reclaimed water trunk line which will benefit both Palmdale and Lancaster.”

Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, said “We’re pleased and honored to have an organization with the kind of prestige BizFed has to support the Palmdale Power Plant. They join the overwhelming majority of organizations and citizens who understand what this project means to the residents of the Antelope Valley and to the State of California. They see how this project meets both the energy and environmental needs and goals, and realize how important this project is in making renewable energy projects viable, especially during peak usage periods.”

“BizFed urges your support of this project, and looks forward to working with you toward approval,” the letter concluded.

With the closure of the San Onofre Power Plant and pressure to close older, less efficient power plants, the Palmdale Power Plant will fill a huge energy producing-void that is facing the state. In fact, the Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 13 that “California Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller recalled that Gov. Jerry Brown cornered him in August and bluntly warned him to ‘make sure the lights don’t go out down there’ in Southern California.”

“The Palmdale Power Plant will help ensure that the lights stay on,” Ledford added.

BizFed is the latest group to endorse the Palmdale Power Plant. Other notable supporters include the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAECD), State Sen. Steve Knight, Assemblymember Steve Fox, Board of Equalization Member George Runner, the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, A.V. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, A.V. African American Chamber of Commerce, Palmdale Recycled Water Authority and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.

In August 2011, after three years of intense study and scrutiny, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the presiding member’s proposed decision to approve the Palmdale Power Plant. That was followed in November 2011, by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of a permit to the city of Palmdale, for the construction and operation of the project.

In addition to creating up to 800 jobs during construction, 35 permanent jobs at the plant itself and dozens of support jobs, the facility will infuse an estimated $5 million into the local economy each year. In addition, it will provide for the paving of four to six miles of roads and the construction of a $20 million trunk line that will connect the reclaimed water treatment facilities of Palmdale and Lancaster—at no cost to taxpayers. The Palmdale Power Plant will also help stabilize the state’s power grid by providing a reliable source of electricity, allow renewables to continue to grow and add to the state’s power portfolio, and fill a void in the grid with the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and the retirement of older, dirtier plants which currently supply electricity.

For more information, visit www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/palmdale.