Nearly $1.6 Billion Energy Project Breaks Ground in Dutchess County
John Jordan | June 28, 2017
DOVER, NY—A massive energy project, which began its approval process nearly eight years ago, finally broke ground on Wednesday, June 28th on a 193-acre parcel of land on Route 22 here.
Described as one of Dutchess County’s largest infrastructure projects in its history, Cricket Valley Energy, an affiliate of Advanced Power Services Inc. of Boston, held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Cricket Valley Energy Center project site for its 1,100-megawatt combined cycle natural gas-fired electric generating facility. The project is estimated to cost $1.58 billion to complete and will create approximately 1,100 jobs during the two-year construction phase.
Cricket Valley Energy and Advanced Power officials were joined by county and state officials at the groundbreaking ceremony that was interrupted for a few minutes by several protestors who were advocating for clean power solutions. Cricket Valley and others involved with the project stressed that the developer engaged in extensive community outreach throughout the approval process and therefore encountered very little opposition to its plan.
The project, when online in 2020, will have the capacity to supply energy to 1 million homes across New York State. The plant will connect with the adjacent Iroquois natural gas pipeline and will sell energy and ancillary services to the New York Independent System Operator energy market with an interconnection through Con Edison’s nearby 345 kV transmission line.
Cricket Valley Energy originally filed plans for a special permit with the Town of Dover in November 2009.
“Together we are transforming a dormant industrial site into a state-of-the-art facility—one that provides smart American energy, local jobs and tax revenue for the community of Dover,” said Robert E. De Meyere, development project manager for Cricket Valley Energy. “This has been no easy feat, and I’m proud to share this moment with many of those who helped make it possible.”
The construction of the Cricket Valley Energy Center and the more than $900-million, 720-megawatt CPV Valley Energy Center nearing completion in Wawayanda, NY in Orange County have taken on significant importance to the lower New York State economy since Entergy Inc. announced in January it was shuttering its Indian Point 2 and 3 nuclear reactors in Buchanan, NY in April 2020 and April 2021 respectively.
Cricket Valley’s De Meyere says the project’s launch is very important to the investors in the project as well as New York State because the state must replace the impending loss of the 2,000 megawatts of power the Indian Point Energy Center currently provides. “With the 1,100 megawatts (here), you have half of it taken care of right away,” he said.
Demolition of approximately 14 buildings at the long vacant industrial site has been completed. De Meyere said that construction would begin in earnest in July.
In January of this year, Cricket Valley Energy announced it had closed on the financing for the nearly $1.6-billion plant. The investors in the project, that are providing $709 million in equity commitments, include: JERA Co., Inc. (half-owned by each of Chubu Electric Power Company and TEPCO Fuel & Power); TIAA Investments; Advanced Power AG; BlackRock Financial Management Inc.; Development Bank of Japan, Inc. and NongHyup Financial Group (under the direction of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of Korea).
GE Energy Financial Services, Inc.; BNP Paribas; Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank; Bank of America, N.A.; CIT BANK, N.A; Industrial Bank of Korea; Shinhan Bank, New York Branch; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, New York Branch; NongHyup Financial Group; National Australia Bank Limited; Siemens Financial Services, Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are providing $875 million in funded debt facilities for the project.
Bechtel will undertake the engineering, procurement, and construction of the energy center. The facility is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020. Advanced Power AG will be the construction and asset manager for the project.
Advanced Power CEO Thomas Spang said at the groundbreaking event, “Cricket Valley Energy and Advanced Power intend to be long-term and good neighbors to those here in Dutchess County. We will continue to manage this project on behalf of the investors both during construction and operation, and we very much look forward to continuing this great working relationship we have built together.”
Town of Dover Supervisor Linda S. French said that initial discussions with Cricket Valley date even farther back than November 2009. Published reports state that Cricket Valley Energy first became interested in the site in 2008.
“It has been an up and down road for nine years, but here we are. This is finally happening, a great project for all involved,” she said. “When we all work together great things happen.”