Wärtsilä vs. Wyllie: Battle for Eden Gardens

Hayward resident Diana Wyllie sent an e-mail today to me, Erin Brokovich and the Hayward City Council exclaiming how “THERE IS NOTHING GOOD” about Tierra Energy’s plans for a 115-megawatt, gas-fired peaker plant on Clawiter Road. You can read the letter in full below, and feel free to weigh in on your own.

[For those just catching up, Austin-based Tierra has been eyeing a site on Clawiter to build a simple-cycle plant for PG&E. The company has already bought 14 Finnish-designed Wärtsilä engines, and is well on its way through the review process with the California Energy Commission, which you can keep track of here. The Hayward Planning Commission held a hearing on the project Thursday, but ended up with a split vote.]


It has come to my attention that we have a dangerous power plant proposed for our residential neighborhood. I understand that City regulations stipulate only the notification of neighbors within 1,000 feet of the proposed site. However I feel in this case it was a moral obligation to notify every single resident within WIND range of this potentially hazardous project.

Your 1,000 foot rule should be changed for projects like these that have a far reaching affect on the quality of life for local residents far and beyond the sites location. A flyer on my front porch alerted me to this project and its potential health hazards. We have a delicate interface between residential and industrial zoning in this area. Notifying only local industrial businesses within 1,000 feet of a potentially hazardous project is irresponsible when those managing these businesses don’t even LIVE here or CARE.

Furthermore, it is your duty to locate power plants such as these well away from residential inhabitants for safety reasons. Ammonia emissions alone will foul the air for miles. We will be forced to breathe harmful pollutants and live with “Warning Horns” that sound to make residents “SHELTER IN PLACE” like the City of Martinez.

I would like to know: Where is energy being produced at this location being shipped to? What is the direct benefit to the City of Hayward? If the benefit is only money, then our local politicians and planning commission members have sold our souls to the “Devil”.

In addition our property values will plummet. The energy giants can never make this right for those of us that have lived here for many years, investing in Hayward, hoping our high property values would help carry us through retirement and old age.

I wonder how Tierra Energy has bought off planning commission members and local business owners that are FOR this project. There are so many negatives it makes you wonder. Maybe audits of their personal accounts will reveal why these businesses are so happy to see Tierra entering our neighborhood. Maybe we should enlist the help of Erin Brokovich to dig up the dirty dealings on this one.

If the City Council members approve this project, beware of a huge outcry from local residents. We are launching a campaign to rid our City of this power plant and the politicians that have given their approval for it. It affects every resident in Hayward no matter how close they live to the site because of wind direction. There are NO PLUSES HERE!!

For the planning commission and city council members that have fought this project, I applaud you for your wisdom, community concern, and your ongoing efforts to do the “RIGHT THING”. I sincerely hope you will emerge victorious in this fight.

We are sick of back door deals by politicians and energy giants and we will band together to fight this. We have many schools here. We need to keep our children healthy and safe while maintaining a decent quality of life for all residents.

If you approve this project, Hayward is not in your best interest. I cannot believe approval was given for one of these energy plants already. I think the approval of the previous energy plant should be re-reviewed because ALL Hayward residents were not notified. This dirty deed was hidden behind a technicality (the 1,000 foot rule).


Please place me on the mailing list for future meetings regarding this project……..you have my email address.

Diana Wyllie

  • Amen!! As a lifelong Hayward resident until 4 months ago, I strongly believe the City of Hayward needs to clean up it’s act and do whatever it can to promote clean, safe neighborhoods, not only from crime but from industrial and environmental hazards as well. Put it on the ballot and let the citizens decide! The energy companies have shown us just how much they care about Californians. Remember Enron?