Construction Starts at Panda Power Funds’ Second 829-MW Power Plant in Pennsylvania
- Aug 13, 2014
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Local and state officials last week joined Dallas-based private equity firm Panda Power Funds and representatives of Gemma Power Systems and Siemens Energy Inc. to celebrate the official start of construction at the 829-megawatt Patriot Generating Station located near Williamsport, Pa., the largest city in Lycoming County. This is Panda Power Funds’ second electric power plant in Pennsylvania—its predecessor, the Panda Liberty power plant, broke ground three months ago on a 33-acre site near Towanda, Pa.
Designed by POWER Burns and Roe of Oradell, N.J. to be one of the cleanest natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation, the Patriot facility is specifically located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale, the largest source of natural gas in the United States which encompasses 104,000 square miles and runs from upstate New York through Pennsylvania, West Virginia and western Ohio.
Originally developed by Virginia-based power plant developer Moxie Energy, the project was picked up by contractor Gemma Power Systems in December 2013 after Moxie completed the sale of controlling interest in the facility to Panda Power Funds.
The Panda Patriot facility is scheduled for substantial completion in spring 2016 and will be powered by Siemens H-class gas turbines that are projected to achieve operating efficiencies of 60 percent. The plant will be cooled with air instead of water, which will reduce water consumption and minimize waste water discharge into the the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The Patriot Generating Station will occupy 85 acres in Montgomery, Pa. and will require over $800 million in construction costs. In December last year, Venture Capital Post reported that Panda Power Funds worked with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec to raise $651.5 million in debt capital.
According to a news release, is expected to produce between 750 and 850 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to cover the power needs of up to 1 million homes in northern Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the project will contribute an estimated $5.85 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy during the plant’s first 10 years of operation. The construction process will take an average of 200 skilled and non-skilled workers with a peak workforce of about 500. Additionally, the plant will create around 30 technical jobs to operate the facility and 45 indirect jobs within the community.
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Rendering courtesy of Panda Power Funds