The California Energy Commission announced it\u2019s streamlining its operations, including reducing the frequency of its business meetings. It also allowed the Hidden Hills power plant project to move forward in the permitting process, but sent another proposal back to the drawing board Oct. 5. Commission executive director Robert Oglesby revealed that the commission would reduce the number of business meetings it holds from two to one each month, beginning next year. \u201cThe goal of all this is to improve efficiency, reduce the costs associated with two hearings and improve the transparency and advance availability of information on business meeting agendas.\u201d There will be certain occasions, Oglesby said, where a second meeting may be required in a given month, particularly during siting cases that receive a lot of public input. In addition to fewer meetings, he said the commission is working to streamline the processes for issuing contracts, grants, and loans. \u201cSome approval of contract and grant agreements took up to two years between solicitation and approval,\u201d he said. \u201cLong delays in processing and executing agreements have hampered efforts to release funds.\u201d The changes--which he said would be implemented in the coming months--include creating commission-wide templates to follow for grant and loan processing that eliminate unnecessary steps; establishing timelines to complete stages in the processes; and simplifying forms. \u201cTaken together, these reforms should cut in half the time it takes to approve contracts and grants,\u201d he said. Oglesby spent over 13 years as legislative director for the California Air Resources Board before joining the commission as chief deputy director in April. He was promoted to his current job in June. He said the commission also is looking to speed up the process of power plant siting by issuing an order next month giving siting applicants the ability to file documents electronically without having to send a hard copy. The Hidden Hills Solar plant, a proposed 500 MW facility located on 3,200 acres of private land in Inyo County, was accepted by the commission after being rejected last month. On Sept. 7, the board turned down the paperwork, citing a lack of data, including transmission system design, traffic and transportation, and air quality. At the time, Clay Jensen, senior director of project development for the applicant, BrightSource Energy, partially blamed the application\u2019s incompleteness on an inability to conduct thorough surveying of the area due to the state Department of Fish & Game banning helicopter usage to prevent disturbances to local bighorn sheep. But at this week\u2019s CEC business meeting, staff project manager Mike Monasmith said BrightSource provided supplemental information on Sept. 9 and 23 to satisfy all regulatory requirements. \u201cBased upon our review of that information, we now find that the project is data adequate,\u201d Monasmith said. As currently designed, Hidden Hills would consist of two solar fields generating 250 MW each. Each solar plant would use tracking system-guided mirrors to focus the sun\u2019s rays on a 750-foot tall solar receiver steam generator tower near the center of each solar field. If a building permit is eventually issued, construction would take about 29 months, Jensen said. But similar to what happened to BrightSource\u2019s Hidden Hills project last month, the certification application for the Quail Brush Generation Project was rejected by the commission as data inadequate this week. Commission staff determined that the application was deficient in eight of the technical areas required under state regulations: air quality, alternatives, biological resources, cultural resources, paleontological resources, project overview, traffic & transportation, and transmission system design. \u201cWe know we have some homework still to do in order to meet data adequacy,\u201d Rick Neff, a vice president with the project applicant, Cogentrix Energy, said. \u201cWe\u2019re looking forward in about two weeks to being able to make the submission of the requested information and moving ahead on the project.\u201d Quail Brush, a planned 100 MW intermediate\/peaking load electrical generating facility, would be located in San Diego and already has a 22-year power purchase agreement in place with San Diego Gas & Electric. The agreement calls for the proposed project to begin commercial operations by June 2014.