Host/Producer at Fly Fishing Top-2-Bottom TV
Conservationist and fly fisherman Charlie Charlesworth believes the Invenergy natural gas fired power plant proposed for Jessup will be a good neighbor for the Lackawanna River.
Along with some others, I had the opportunity to meet with the engineers and senior executives of lnvenergy, the company that is going to build the largest gas fired cogeneration plant ever built, and will locate it right here in Lackawanna County, in Archbald/Jessup. What started out as a very disconcerting concept turned into quite a novel concept and approach to clean energy. I truly believe it is a project we can support as conservationists and fisherman.
Invenergy addressed all our concerns and showed a real legitimate concern to protect the environment. They pride themselves on clean and green energy, and are noted for their wind turbine and solar panel energy business. They located here for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a designated Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) property where incentives are made available for job creation purposes. The site was also desirable because it had an existing rail spur, the powerlines are already in place and there is already a gas-line. All these items mean that there will be no need for any construction other than the plant itself.
These are some examples of how they relieved our concerns about this structure being only 3/4ths of a mile from the Lackawanna River:
- There will be no water withdrawn from the Lackawanna River.
- There will be no water withdrawn from the mines themselves.
- They will purchase clean drinking water from Pa. American Water Company (up to 800,000 gals per day) to power the steam generators (from a reserve dam located up grade from the facility).
- They will install chillers in their cooling system so their discharge of clean and safe, drinking water quality water will be between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- They will instalI weirs or some type of aerating system to insure there is heavily oxygenated water at a perfect PH level.
- Grassy Island Creek is an intermittent stream during summer heat. After they go on-line there will be a constant flow on Grassy Island Creek at, I believe, 300 GPM.
- Studies indicate the stream bed is acceptable to that amount of water, but they and members of the Lackawanna River Conservation Association will do a walking tour to inspect areas that may require more work.
- There are Brook Trout above the reservoir that will supply the water, so it stands to reason that with a constant flow the waters from the facility to the confluence with the river will support Brook Trout.
- This project should increase water levels in the Lackawanna River by just under the 800,000 gals, which would certainly be welcome now and in the heat of the summer.
- I believe, but my beliefs can’t be substantiated by this layman’s mind, that with 800K more, colder water going downstream, this should push the thermo-cline downstream further into the city (I should at least get credit for knowing what a thermo-cline is.)
- Invenergy also agreed that if they uncover any extra large boulders that they will set them aside tor in-river projects. They will also do due diligence in saving shade trees for us to transplant in other areas of the watershed.
- On the economic development side; during the construction process they will be employing up to 800 construction workers (union project) and when they go on-line they will have 30 full time employees.
- With the capacity they can produce, it should cause a reduction in Kilowats per hour charges.
I truly believe Invenergy can a good neighbor to the Lackawanna River and told them as much. They appear to be good stewards of the environment.
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