San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, facing opposition from environmentalists and allies on the Board of Supervisors, backed away from a plan to build a $273 million debt-financed power plant in the city’s Potrero Hill neighborhood.

The proposed natural-gas-fired power peaker plant — which would run only during times of peak electricity demand — would have replaced an aging Mirant Corp. electric plant that runs on diesel fuel. The city planned to issue certificates of participation to finance the project, which was to be run by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and include an additional generator at San Francisco International Airport.

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