Palmdale is planning to acquire the 615-acre site, on Avenue M near Sierra Highway, from Lockheed Martin. The Lockheed property is just north of the aerospace companies at Air Force Plant 42 and Lockheed Martin's Plant 10, which the city envisions as the major users of the power from the plant.
"We are on the fast track for a power plant in Palmdale," Councilman Steve Knight said.
The City Council will decide whether to fund the land acquisition through the sale of Certificates of Participation. The city's debt service would be $1.5 million a year.
City officials expect to either refinance or have the certificates paid by the time construction begins on the power plant, which could occur in 18 months to three years.
The plant will take up roughly half of the site. The rest of the property could be sold for development.
Lockheed Martin originally planned a business park on the land but that never materialized.
City officials are working with a consultant, Inland Energy Inc., to secure permits to build a 500-megawatt power plant that they say would provide the city with reliable, more affordable energy. It is expected to take about two years and cost as much as $5.5 million to secure those permits. The city plans to seek permits for a plant that would operate two 165-megawatt gas-fired turbines and a steam turbine capable of generating 170 megawatts. The plant would be capable of providing energy for a city of 400,000 people.
The plant would also have a solar-power farm capable of generating 50 megawatts of power.