New Gas-Fired Power Plants in Appalachian Basin Also Fire Economy

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


There are 29 new gas-fired power plants coming to the Appalachian Basin bringing affordable American energy, jobs and economic benefits.

Each large (over 475 megawatts) gas-fired electric power plant is an economic bonanza. The plants cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build–over a billion dollars for the largest plants. They provide hundreds of jobs during construction, jobs that last several years. They provide millions in tax revenue to local municipalities and schools. And best of all, each one of these plants uses an enormous amount of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas. There are 29 of these incredible projects already built or in various stages of planning and construction in PA, OH and WV. We have the list below.

gas-fired power plants

Pennsylvania has the most gas-fired plant projects–16 of them. Ohio has 10. And West Virginia has 3 (although all 3 are delayed by frivolous lawsuits launched by Big Coal).

Our friends at Energy in Depth have published a list of all 29 projects, which we include below.

MDN friend Jackie Stewart (EID) analyzed the impact of these projects. Here’s some of her findings:

The Appalachian Basin is driving growth of record-shattering U.S. natural gas production, which in turn has helped spur more than $25 billion in natural gas electricity generation investment in the region. In fact, there are 29 new 475-megawatt (MW) or greater natural gas-fired power plants that are in various stages of permitting, under construction or have recently become operational in Ohio (10), Pennsylvania (16) and West Virginia (3), representing more than 26,000 MW of added electric capacity, more than 17,000 jobs during construction and incredible emissions reductions in the electricity sector.

These Appalachian Basin plants are being constructed using local labor, and as Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council’s former president Don Crane explained in 2016, the projects represent “quite a few years” worth of work. In fact, Crane described the labor agreement with now operational Lordstown Energy Center as “the best labor agreement that anyone has ever seen on either side of the table in the oil and gas industry. It will be a model going forward that gets used often.”

Many of the facilities, like the Hannibal Port Power Project, are being built on the sites of previous power plants or other industrial facilities. As Lou Gentile, principal with Vorys Advisors LLC, told the Marietta Times earlier this year,

“I remember when the Ormet facility closed. But this is an opportunity to rebuild and redevelop that site and build the workforce and the Monroe County community that I really worked on when in public office.”

Further, these natural gas-fired power plant investments are increasingly important given the recent announcements of several coal and nuclear facilities that will be closing in the region over the next few years – coal currently represents 45 percent of Ohio’s electric mix and 93 percent of West Virginia’s, while nuclear energy is the leading fuel for electricity generation in Pennsylvania at 39 percent.

In April, PJM Interconnection, the region’s electrical grid supplier, credited these new natural gas facilities with helping to maintain the grid’s reliability when these closures occur, stating,

“The PJM grid remains reliable even with the resource retirements analyzed to date and investment in new, increasingly more efficient gas-powered generation sources.”

PJM reaffirmed this last week, explaining to E&E News,

“Any potential reliability impacts will be addressed by a combination of already planned baseline transmission upgrades and the completion of new baseline upgrades.”

Here is Jackie’s list of 29 gas-fired projects in the Marcellus/Utica. It’s a great list!

gas-fired power plants

Click here to read the full post.

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