Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) held a dedication ceremony earlier this month to mark the completion of its 1,000-megawattcombined-cycle natural gas power plant—Wildcat Point.
Located about 25 miles west of Newark near Rising Sun, MD, Wildcat Point became operational in April of this year. The plant produces enough electricity to power about 390,000 homes. ODEC also owns a plant adjacent to Wildcat Point that is fired up during peak periods of energy use.
The plant is the biggest generation site in the northeast Maryland-Delaware area.
One of the members of Old Dominion is Delaware Electric Cooperative, Greenwood, the state’s second-largest electric provider.
According to Marcus Harris, ODEC CEO, the opening of Wildcat Point Generation Facility is a “significant milestone for ODEC. This new source of cleaner, cost-effective power will improve reliability on the region’s electricity grid and will provide our members with a stable source of clean energy for decades, help us to keep energy rates affordable, improve reliability, and create steady revenue for Cecil County.”
J. William Andrew, chair of ODEC’s board of directors and president and CEO of Delaware Electric Cooperative stated that the Wildcat Point Generation Facility,”is a very efficient power plant that will provide increased reliability to the region, keep electric rates low, and allow us to meet the demands of a growing population in many of our cooperative areas”.
“We recognized years ago that energy consumption was rising and that we needed new sources of power to help close the gap, “ said Rick Beam, ODEC senior vice president of power supply. “Wildcat Point was envisioned and constructed to meet that need. It increases ODEC’s supply of owned generation assets and reduces our need to buy from the market”.
At its peak during construction of the plant about 1,000 construction workers were on site. Now in operation, Wildcat Point employs 30 full-time employees. The plant is expected to create an estimated $33.5 million annual impact for Cecil County, Maryland. ODEC also has a revenue agreement in place that will dedicate roughly $124 million to the county over 30 years.
“We’re really proud to be a part of this community,” said Brian Heinbaugh, plant manager of Wildcat Point. “We’re committed to running a top-notch facility and continuing to be a good neighbor.”
The opening of Wildcat Point is an outgrowth of abundant supplies of natural gas in the Marcellus deposits in Pennsylvania.
In the past, ODEC was investing in coal-fired plants as a way to meet power demands of members who often live in fast-growing rural areas, such as Kent and Sussex counties.