More than nine months after an application was originally filed, a planned replacement for a power plant in the Los Angeles County has finally taken one big step forward in the California Energy Commission\u2019s licensing process. The new plant would eliminate the use of ocean water for cooling to comply with state water board policies aimed at protecting the aquatic environment. On Aug. 27, the Energy Commission approved an application for the Redondo Beach Energy Project as \u201cdata adequate.\u201d The adequacy determination means the project\u2019s application for certification is deemed complete and eligible to move to the next step in the 12-month permitting process. It was assigned to a commission committee, which will preside over the licensing process and make a recommendation to the full commission for consideration. Concurrently with the adequacy determination, the commission approved the siting committee assignments, with Commissioners Karen Douglas and Janea Scott named the committee\u2019s presiding and associate members, respectively. If built, Redondo Beach Energy Project would be a natural gas-fired, combined cycle, air cooled 496 MW electrical generating facility that would be constructed on the site of\u2014and eventually replace\u2014the existing Redondo Beach Generating Station. The project\u2019s application was originally submitted by applicant AES Southland in November 2012. It was reviewed by commission staff in early January, but it and the commission rejected it due to deficiencies in six technical areas: air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, traffic & transportation, system design and waste management. AES then spent about six months refining its application before resubmitting it to the commission. The project is being proposed by AES as a successor to the current gas-fired 1,310 MW power plant, which sits on about 50 acres in Redondo Beach. The new facility\u2019s designed to consist of one power block, composed of three natural gas combustion turbine generators with supplemental fired heat recovery steam generators, an air-cooled condenser to replace once-through cooling, and related ancillary equipment. It would reuse existing natural gas, water, wastewater, sewer, and high-voltage interconnections on the site, thereby avoiding the need to construct any new offsite facilities. Also during the meeting, the commission denied a bid by the owner of an electrical engineering firm who was seeking a three-year moratorium on implementing portions of the 2013 Nonresidential Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The building standards, which the regulators approved in May 2012, take effect Jan. 1, 2014. They revamp regulations for constructing both new commercial and residential buildings. Provisions include requiring energy efficient windows that allow more sunlight while reducing heat. They also require non-residential buildings to be equipped with sensors and controls to allow for the use of natural light and cool roof technologies on commercial buildings. George Athans, owner of Reseda-based Athans Enterprises had petitioned the Energy Commission to hold off on implementing aspects of the efficiency standards that relate to new nonresidential buildings until Jan. 1, 2017. Athans\u2019 petition asserted that the new rules would negatively affect the construction industry, which has been slowly regaining strength since the most recent recession. \u201cWe believe the moratorium is appropriate to give the new non-residential construction industry a chance to gain some traction,\u201d Athans told the Commission before the vote. \u201cThe new non-residential construction industry continues to be in a dire condition.\u201d The Commission wasn\u2019t convinced by his argument, and voted unanimously to deny issuing a moratorium of any length. According to a commission analysis, for a typical 15,000 square foot nonresidential structure, the additional construction costs attributed to the 2013 building standards would be about $3 per square foot, or $45,000 for the entire building. Assuming nonresidential construction costs average $150 per square foot, the Commission\u2019s analysis says that the additional costs from the standards only increases the cost of the building by about 1.8 percent.