Developers of Harrison County power plant name contractor for project

HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. — The developers of the planned gas-fired power plant in Harrison County have selected a contractor to build the plant.

ESC Harrison County Power, one of the two co-developers, has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction services contract with Connecticut-based Gemma Power Systems.

ESC Harrison and its partner, Caithness Energy, have issued a limited notice to proceed to Gemma to continue project planning and engineering activities, according to a release from Gemma’ parent company, Maryland-based Argan Inc.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer with completion scheduled in 2022, the release said.

The plant will be a 625-megawatt combined-cycle facility with one combustion turbine generator (CTG) connected to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). Argan explains that the HRSG will harness exhaust heat from the CTG to generate high-quality, superheated steam. The steam will drive a steam turbine to generate additional electricity in an environmentally friendly and efficient manner.

Argan said the plant will also have an air-cooled condenser, “which will dramatically reduce water usage to less than 3 percent of many similarly sized facilities.”

As previously reported, it will occupy 13 acres of a planned 110-acre industrial park on a former 212-acre surface and underground mine site.

Construction will cost about $615 million. ESC Harrison projects it will produce an $880 million economic impact during construction and $287 million per year thereafter. It will provide 400 construction jobs, 30 full-time plant operations jobs and about 700 jobs tied to maintaining and servicing the plant.

It’s expected that the plant will provide enough power for about 425,000 homes through the PJM Interconnect grid. PJM is the regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.

Caithness President Ross Ain said, “Caithness has selected Gemma to construct this important project for a number of reasons. Gemma recently completed our 1,080 MW Freedom natural gas-fired power plant which was constructed for the lowest cost per installed kilowatt of any recent project in the region.

“Gemma has been a good member of the local communities in which it does business,” he continued. “Gemma also has maintained an excellent safety record in constructing these plants. We believe Gemma will serve the project and the community well in this large undertaking.”

Caithness Energy is a privately owned independent power producer engaged in the development, acquisition, operation and management of environmentally progressive renewable energy and natural gas power plants. Since 1995, it has invested in 54 power projects using wind, geothermal, solar and natural gas.

ESC Harrison County Power is a subsidiary of New York-based Energy Solutions Consortium. A sister company, ESC Brooke County Power, is developing an 830-MW gas-fired plant – enough for about 700,000 homes – on an abandoned strip mine.

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