Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners, LLC Wednesday celebrated the start of construction for the Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station, a 925-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fueled power plant near Smithton in Westmoreland County.
More than 75 elected officials, community leaders and company executives gathered at the site for the ceremonial groundbreaking. Attendees included U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA and state Rep. Ted Harhai (D-Westmoreland), along with leaders from Westmoreland County, South Huntingdon Township and Smithton Borough.
“Natural gas production is an important industry in Pennsylvania and is one that not only creates direct employment but also stimulates the economy and fosters additional jobs through its support of related, downstream businesses,” said Dennis Davin, Secretary of Community and Economic Development, who gave the keynote address. “On behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Department of Community and Economic Development, it’s an honor to welcome Tenaska to Westmoreland County and to break ground on a project that is sure to be a significant contributor to the vitality of the region and beyond.”
Construction of Tenaska Westmoreland is expected to boost the local economy, with direct construction costs of more than $500 million.
When complete in late 2018, the plant will be able to provide enough power for approximately 925,000 homes in the PJM Interconnection market, which coordinates the delivery of reliable power in all or parts of 13 eastern states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
“Tenaska Westmoreland has been many years in the making,” said Tenaska Vice Chairman and CEO Jerry Crouse. “We appreciate the continued support we have received from many residents and community leaders, and we are pleased to now be starting construction and bringing the many economic benefits of the project to reality.”
Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners, LLC, comprised of affiliates of Tenaska and Diamond Generating Corporation, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corporation, owns the Tenaska Westmoreland project.
“Diamond Generating Corporation is pleased to be a part of this highly efficient, combined-cycle project in Pennsylvania, continuing our long-term relationship with Tenaska” said CEO Satoshi Hamada. “The Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station demonstrates our commitment to provide clean, flexible and reliable energy for local communities in competitive markets.”
The Tenaska Westmoreland project is expected to create more than 300 direct jobs, on average, over the nearly three-year construction period, as well as opportunities for local contractors and vendors.
Once operational, the plant will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue over its life.
“Tenaska is meeting the needs of an evolving industry,” said Jason Rigone, executive director of Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation, who also spoke at the event. “In recent years numerous coal-fueled power plants have retired, leaving a void to fill our energy demands. The Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station will utilize locally produced natural gas and provide a clean source of electricity for our region’s businesses and ensure our homes are warm in the winter and cool in the summer.”
Black & Veatch is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. The EPC contractor performs design, completes engineering and manages construction of the plant. Tenaska encourages its EPC contractors to hire locally when possible.For more information on the power plant, visit Tenaska’s Westmoreland Project website.
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