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File #: WS 22-019   
Section: Work Session Status: Agenda Ready
Meeting Body: City Council
Agenda Date: 5/24/2022 Final action:
Subject: Presentation Regarding 2021 Explosion at Russell City Energy Center and Follow Up Investigation and Actions RECOMMENDATION That the City Council receives the presentation and provides comments. SUMMARY The Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) is a 600 megawatt powerplant located in the Hayward industrial area . The plant is owned and operated by the Calpine Corporation and began commercial operations in 2013. On May 27, 2021, RCEC experienced a mechanical failure of the steam turbine generator that resulted in an explosion and fire (incident). The steam turbine generator experienced extensive damage and debris from the explosion flew from the site to surrounding areas, including the City's Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) and the City's Homeless Navigation Center. No damage occurred at the WPCF but a large piece of debris fell through the roof of the Navigation Center trailer that serves as the common area and kitchen. Thankfully, the trailer was unoccupied at the ti...
Attachments: 1. Attachment I April 26, 2022 CEC Staff Report and Order, 2. Attachment II Calpine Redacted Root Cause Analysis, 3. Attachment III CEC Gap Analysis, 4. Attachment IV Powerpoint Presentation
DATE: May 24, 2022

TO: Mayor and City Council

FROM: City Manager
Fire Chief

SUBJECT

Title
Presentation Regarding 2021 Explosion at Russell City Energy Center and Follow Up Investigation and Actions

RECOMMENDATION

That the City Council receives the presentation and provides comments.

SUMMARY

The Russell City Energy Center (RCEC) is a 600 megawatt powerplant located in the Hayward industrial area . The plant is owned and operated by the Calpine Corporation and began commercial operations in 2013. On May 27, 2021, RCEC experienced a mechanical failure of the steam turbine generator that resulted in an explosion and fire (incident). The steam turbine generator experienced extensive damage and debris from the explosion flew from the site to surrounding areas, including the City's Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) and the City's Homeless Navigation Center. No damage occurred at the WPCF but a large piece of debris fell through the roof of the Navigation Center trailer that serves as the common area and kitchen. Thankfully, the trailer was unoccupied at the time and there were no significant injuries resulting from the explosion.

On July 15, 2021, the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted to approve Calpine's petition for modifications to allow the facility to temporarily operate in simple-cycle mode, subject to certain limitations in the CEC's order. The CEC order found it was appropriate for the CEC to "exercise enhanced scrutiny over the facility" in light of the May 27, 2021 incident and that "it is reasonable for the public to have access to safety audits conducted pertaining to the operation of the facility, including the circumstances that gave rise to the petition." Additionally, the order directed the project owner to meet with CEC staff and the Hayward City Fire Department within 30 days of the order "to discuss any needed modifications of [RCEC's] standard operating procedures for first responders to implement when respon...

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