Calpine moving ahead with gas-fired power plant in Dover

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Calpine is moving forward with the Garrison Energy Center in Dover. The Dover Post reports ground will be broken on the plant this spring. The newspaper stated that the price tag for the natural gas-fired powerplant will total $300 million.

Calpine expects the plant to  to go online by June 1, 2015.

Texas based Calpine operates a regional headquarters in Wilmington.

Electrical demand from Dover’s city-owned electric utility is a little more than half  of  the peak capacity  proposed plant. The plant site allows for a doubling of the 309 megawatt capacity, according to Calpine.

The feasibility of the plant is getting  a boost from growing natural gas supplies in the region, as Marcellus Shale deposits are tapped in Pennsylvania. Natural gas prices, while historically volatile, are becoming competitive with coal.

“When Calpine acquired Conectiv Energy in July 2010, we made a commitment to Delaware that we would be a good corporate citizen,” said Jack Fusco, Calpine’s CEO in November of last year. “Initially, we voluntarily eliminated the use of coal at our power plants in favor of cleaner burning natural gas. Our next step is to help Delaware ensure its electric energy supply future by constructing a modern, state-of-the art power plant that will provide competitively priced, reliable electric energy for the Delmarva Peninsula.”

The Garrison Energy Center would operate as a combined-cycle, natural gas-fired generating facility . The project has received strong support from state and local officials.

“Delaware is committed to securing cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy,”   Gov. Jack Markell said  in November.   “By deploying advanced energy-efficient technology, electric production from the Garrison Energy Center will provide lower-cost and cleaner electricity for Delaware residents and businesses, while displacing older, inefficient and dirtier sources of energy from upwind states. Since Calpine established a regional headquarters in Wilmington two years ago, my administration has supported its efforts to help meet the state’s power needs while creating jobs and spurring new economic development opportunities.”

The project will also provide local benefits. “Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center, which will be built in Dover’s Garrison Oak Technical Park, represents a unique opportunity for the city. This state-of-the-art generating facility will improve the reliability of the electric system and provide new and much-needed revenue streams for the city. In addition, the construction of a pipeline to serve the facility will expand the availability of natural gas to other businesses and consumers in the region,” said Dover Mayor Carlton E. Carey Sr. “We are pleased to welcome the Garrison Energy Center as an anchor tenant to the technical park and thank Calpine for its commitment to the First State.”

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