$900M Energy Project in Orange County to Break Ground in Next Few Months
The owner and developer of the CPV Valley Energy Center, a proposed 720-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-powered electric power generating facility here said it is working on details on the project’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Although no firm date has been set for the first shovel, company officials are hopeful that construction can begin on this long-anticipated project that has been valued at approximately $900 million by this September.
Steve Remillard, vice president of development for CPV Valley Energy Center, said the project will be built by a joint venture of Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Inc. of Queens, NY; Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. of East Hanover, NJ and Ecco III Enterprises, Inc. of Yonkers, NY. The three firms secured the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract for the project. The EPC contractors have signed a Project Labor reemereement with the Hudson Valley Building & Construction Trades Council. Construction will take 31 months to complete with commercial operation projected in February 2018, he said.
On June 12, Competitive Power Ventures and partner Diamond Generating Corp. of Los Angeles, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., closed on the financing for the CPV Valley Energy Center. The ownership secured financing with MUFG Union Bank, N.A. and Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as coordinating-lead arrangers for the project. This is the first such transaction by CPV under new owner, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). No financial terms of the transaction were released.
A few weeks earlier Competitive Power Ventures announced that Global Infrastructure Partners had completed the purchase of CPV’s principal assets including the operating company. GIP succeeds Warburg Pincus as the principal owner of CPV. Mr. Remillard said that the sale of the company has had no impact on the CPV Valley Energy Center project.
Since it closed on its financing, the company has issued a notice to proceed to the EPC contractors. “They are going full-speed ahead with all the detailed engineering drawings, packages that get submitted to the municipalities for building permits and they have also submitted all of the stormwater pollution prevention plans to the DEC and getting the approvals on that,” Mr. Remillard said. “They are getting all the necessary approvals to break ground by September.”
The project will sell its capacity, energy and ancillary services into the lower Hudson Valley and provide enough power to supply 720,000 New York homes. The project will interconnect into the New York Power Authority’s 345kV Marcy South transmission line in Middletown, NY.
Mr. Remillard said while the project has secured SEQRA and site plan approval, CPV Valley submitted an amended site plan to the Town of Wawayanda, which included some design improvements, including smaller buildings and less impervious surface areas that would have improved stormwater management and reduced the minimal impact on wetlands by another 18 percent.
The firm sought site plan amendment approval despite the fact that it had secured a fully final and “unappealable” site plan in 2013. “Unfortunately it was challenged by some local opposition,” Mr. Remillard said. The company eventually decided to pull its site plan amendment application and build the project under its original and approved site plan.
CPV Valley initially approached the town of Wawaynda in May 2008 about building the energy plant. During that time the project has enjoyed significant support from Orange County government, the City of Middletown and from business and civic organizations. However, it also drew some intense local opposition, particularly from residents nearby the project site.
Mr. Remillard said that all of the necessary New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Public Service Commission approvals have been granted.
Up to 500 construction jobs will be created during the construction phase, and 23 permanent jobs will be created once the project is operational, it was estimated.
Company officials said the addition of the CPV Valley Energy Center will also help to mitigate the ratepayer impacts of the recently instituted new capacity zone in the lower Hudson Valley by reducing electricity prices by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.