The $452-million Lodi Energy Center (LEC) natural gas power plant project is progressing well and is on track for completion in June 2012, according to sources at the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a joint‐action agency serving public power entities in Northern and Central California.  The project, which is under construction on 4.4 acres of land in Lodi, will generate 280 megawatts of power once complete.  “We’ve experienced a few challenges with suppliers, but we are working around those,” said Ed Warner, project manager, NCPA. “We are 50 percent done with construction and over 70 percent complete with the overall project, and we are still on schedule and on budget.”

Naturally, having 14 participants involved in a project can create its own challenges.  “How you arrive at decisions with over a dozen different participants is a story in itself,” said Hill. “But so far it’s worked out well. Even though we all have our individual interests, if you look at the voting record you’ll see all the decisions are pretty much unanimous so far. That’s pretty remarkable.”  The permitting process was also a huge barrier to overcome, according to NCPA’s Warner. “By design it’s supposed to be 12-month process, but it took us about 18 months,” he said.

Project management of the huge endeavor has also been tricky. With 60 contracts in place to procure different supplies and materials, ensuring those supplies and materials arrive at the job site at the right time in order to meet the sequence of construction is challenging.

Partnering for this project was facilitated by Jim Eisenhart of Ventura Consulting Group.

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