CPV St. Charles ded­i­cated at cer­e­mony

Nat­u­ral gas plant one of largest eco­nomic projects in decades

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MATTHEW KUBISIAK mku­bisiak@somd­news.com

On what was per­haps the hottest day of the year so far, busi­ness lead­ers and elected of­fi­cials as­sem­bled within a large canopy tent in an open field over­look­ing the new CPV St. Charles En­ergy Cen­ter, a nat­u­ral gas power plant in Wal­dorf man­aged by the Sil­ver Spring-based Com­pet­i­tive Power Ven­tures Inc.

Large elec­tric fans on each side of the canopy ush­ered a wel­come breeze onto the guests of Tues­day af­ter­noon’s ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for the new fa­cil­ity, with those in at­ten­dance in­clud­ing Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R), Ja­panese Am­bas­sador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae, sev­eral state del­e­gates, the Charles County com­mis­sion­ers and busi­ness lead­ers from Amer­i­can and Ja­panese com­pa­nies in­vested in the project.

Though CPV Vice Pres­i­dent Jeff Ahrens says the 725 megawatt plant has been com­mer­cially op­er­a­tional since Fe­bru­ary, the June 13 ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony of­fered a chance for an of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting and a cel­e­bra­tion of a project that took years of plan­ning, fi­nanc­ing and

con­struc­tion.

Gary Lam­bert, pres­i­dent and CEO of CPV, high­lighted the con­tri­bu­tions of those in­volved in bring­ing the plant to fruition.

“To do a project as big and com­plex as this, it takes a lot of peo­ple and a lot of co­op­er­a­tion,” Lam­bert said.

The CPV St. Charles En­ergy cen­ter is par­tially owned by Ja­panese cor­po­ra­tions Marubeni, Toy­ota Tsusho and Osaka Gas, with each com­pany pro­vid­ing 25 per­cent of the plant’s fi­nanc­ing, of­fi­cials said. It was con­structed by SNC Lavalin Con­struc­tors Inc. and is op­er­ated by EthosEn­ergy Power Plant Ser­vices LLC.

Speak­ing on stage in the canopy, Ho­gan called the nat­u­ral gas plant an ex­cit­ing achieve­ment for Charles County and for all of Mary­land, cit­ing it as one of the largest eco­nomic devel­op­ment projects in the en­tire state over the last decade.

“It’s a wel­come ad­di­tion to this area as a source of re­li­able en­ergy for so many Mary­land res­i­dents and busi­nesses,” Ho­gan said.

Speak­ers at the cer­e­mony noted the plant’s low im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment com­pared to older, coal-fired power plants. Ahrens said the plant’s Gen­eral Elec­tric 7F.05 gas tur­bines and Gen­eral Elec­tric D402 steam tur­bine bring the fa­cil­ity’s ef­fi­ciency rat­ing to nearly 60 per­cent, ap­prox­i­mately 40 per­cent more ef­fi­cient than most coal power plants.

“CPV St. Charles can pro­duce more elec­tric­ity with less fuel, cre­at­ing far lower emis­sions than older, less ef­fi­cient plants,” Ahrens said. “For peo­ple of this re­gion this trans­lates to im­proved grid re­li­a­bil­ity, lower cost of elec­tric­ity and a re­spon­si­ble en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print.”

Sasae even noted cli­mate change in his re­marks, jok­ing about the day’s heat, “It’s not be­cause of cli­mate change; it’s more be­cause of your en­thu­si­asm.”

Be­yond the plant’s at­mo­spheric im­pact, speak­ers praised CPV St. Charles’ use of “gray wa­ter” from the Mat­ta­woman Waste­water Treat­ment Plant for cool­ing the fa­cil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to CPV of­fi­cials, us­ing wa­ter from the treat­ment plant means less of an im­pact on lo­cal aquifers and puts use to non-potable wa­ter that would other­wise be left to drain into the Chesapeake Bay.

“As you look around to­day, you can see that this plant is just a marvel of engi­neer­ing,” Del. Sally Jameson (D-Charles) said. “I think this is a project that any com­mu­nity would want to see.“

Del. Edith Pat­ter­son (D-Charles), Jameson and Del. C.T. Wil­son (D-Charles) pre­sented CPV Pres­i­dent and CEO Gary Lam­bert with a ci­ta­tion con­grat­u­lat­ing CPV on pro­vid­ing jobs and ser­vices to Charles County.

Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Peter Murphy (D) was the event’s fi­nal speaker, not­ing that CPV St. Charles is the sin­gle largest eco­nomic devel­op­ment project un­der­taken in the county in decades.

“This fa­cil­ity is one of the largest tax­pay­ers in the county and will be gen­er­at­ing more than $100 mil­lion in rev­enue for Charles County over the next 23 years,” Murphy said. “This ad­di­tional rev­enue will play a key role in help­ing to sup­port cru­cial ser­vices and ini­tia­tives that will ben­e­fit all of the res­i­dents of Charles County.”

He said the con­struc­tion phase em­ployed hun­dreds of peo­ple, many of them union work­ers. Now op­er­at­ing, the plant will con­tinue to em­ploy 24 good-pay­ing jobs, along with 70 to 80 in­di­rect jobs sup­port­ing fa­cil­ity op­er­a­tion, Murphy said.

Murphy and Com­mis­sion­ers’ Vice Pres­i­dent Amanda Ste­wart (D) pre­sented on be­half of all the com­mis­sion­ers the Charles County seal to Lam­bert and Ahrens.

Fol­low­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, of­fi­cials and at­ten­dees emp­tied out of the tent for the plant’s of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting.

All hold­ing one over­sized pair of scis­sors, Ho­gan, Sasae and Lam­bert clipped the rib­bon in half, mark­ing CPV St. Charles’ ded­i­ca­tion com­plete.

“This is a his­tor­i­cal day in Charles County,” Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) said. “In terms of where we’ve been, where we are to­day and most im­por­tantly, mov­ing for­ward.”

Com­mis­sioner De­bra Davis (D) says the plant is a real win for ev­ery­one, par­tic­u­larly with the in­creased tax base.

“Once one com­pany breaks the line and comes, it paves the way for oth­ers,” Davis said. “I’m ex­cited for other com­pa­nies com­ing, for spinoffs of CPV, to bring more com­mer­cial in­come to Charles County.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MATTHEW KUBISIAK

Gov. Larry Ho­gan, CPV Pres­i­dent and CEO Gary Lam­bert and Am­bas­sador of Ja­pan Kenichiro Sasae cut the rib­bon out­side of the CPV St. Charles En­ergy Cen­ter in Wal­dorf dur­ing the nat­u­ral gas power plant’s ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony on June 13. Busi­ness lead­ers, state del­e­gates and the Charles County com­mis­sion­ers at­tended and par­tic­i­pated in the cer­e­mony for the 725 megawatt fa­cil­ity.

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