The Fresno County Planning Commission moved forward a battery storage system at the Malaga Power Plant and heard concerns from residents about the expansion of a fruit packing and cold storage facility outside of Orange Cove. Source: County of Fresno

April 27, 2023 — Fresno County Planning Commission

Documented by Josef Sibala

What happened: The Fresno County Planning Commission approved a battery energy storage system at the existing Malaga Power Plant located at 2611 W. North Avenue, east of the Fresno city limits.

The 140 megawatt system will occupy approximately 4.5 acres of the 19-acre parcel and include a 250-foot-long overhead or underground transmission line to connect to the peaking plant, according to the staff report. It may be used to generate backup power for the PG&E Malaga Substation located approximately one mile to the northeast.

According to the California Energy Commission, the Malaga Power Plant was approved to operate as a 97-megawatt natural gas plant through a small power plant exemption in 2004. The battery power added could eclipse what is currently being generated at the plant through the exemption.

And also: The commissioners approved an agricultural cold storage facility and storage building just west of the city of Fresno at 1315 W. North Avenue, but delayed a decision on the expansion of a fruit packing and cold storage facility at 5555 Hill Avenue, outside of Orange Cove, after hearing concerns from residents.

During the meeting, several residents spoke against the expansion citing concerns about its water use, increased traffic, and noise.

Up next: The Fresno County Planning Commission is scheduled to meet again May 18.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...