Construction Begins on Loudoun County Power Plant

A group of private constructor is all set to construct a plant powered by natural gas in Loudoun County, Virginia. It has the immense potential to provide energy to nearly 800,000 homes, as per the company’s announcement. The Washington Post has published this.

Amrita Jayakumar, the reporter opined, Panda Power Funds, a Dallas-based private-equity firm, said it would begin construction of the 101-acre Panda Stonewall facility immediately with the help of Siemens and local construction giant Bechtel. The plant is slated to open four miles southeast of Leesburg in the spring of 2017 and generate 778 megawatts of energy, Panda Power said in a statement.
The project was announced last fall by Loudoun County officials, who said the plant would reverse the county’s dependence on neighboring areas for power and provide critical energy support to a region that is home to data centers and many government agencies.

The construction phase is expected to generate 600 jobs, county officials said, and once it is completed, the plant is expected to generate $20 million per year for the county and employ 30 people.

“With all the purchasing activity taking place online, along with the transmission of key defense and intelligence information, data centers cannot afford to have one second of energy failure, ever,” Buddy Rizer, director for the Department of Economic Development, said in a statement.

The plant will use waste water from Leesburg for cooling purposes, which will prevent “the discharge of harmful nutrients into the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed,” Panda Power said.

The firm, which funds energy projects across the country, did not disclose the cost of the the project. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a plant of this type typically costs $1 million per megawatt, which would bring the price tag to about $778 million. Panda Power said it is funding the plant through a mix of equity and capital raised from institutional investors.

This is Panda Power’s second major project in the Washington area. The firm is on track to develop a similar plant in the industrial area of Brandywine, Md., in Prince George’s County.

Building approvals for that project are expected by the middle of next year, said Bill Pentak, a representative for Panda Power.

Panda Power has at least six natural gas plants in different stages of construction from Texas to Pennsylvania.

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