Tenaska Studies Westmoreland County for Natural Gas-fueled Power Facility


OMAHA, Nebraska – Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, could become host to a major economic development project and the benefits that come with it.

A major addition to the tax base, clean electric power generation to meet growing area needs, and well-paying jobs are typical benefits of the project, now in the planning stages.

Tenaska, Inc., a respected and experienced energy development company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is studying an area south of Interstate 70 between Exits 49 and 51 to construct, own and operate a natural gas-fueled electric generating facility. It has purchased approximately 400 acres at that location. Typically, plants of this type occupy a site of approximately 50 acres surrounded by natural buffers to minimize any noticeable presence in the region.

Early details of the project were announced by Dan Culver, project manager for Tenaska. A presentation is planned at a Westmoreland County Board meeting in July.

On Thursday, June 11, the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County authorized discussions toward an agreement for Tenaska to obtain water from the municipal water treatment plant. The plant in Westmoreland County will recycle water multiple times before it is discharged.

“We do not have a firm timetable for development as of this moment, but we are continuing to develop our project” Culver said. “We have told the PJM interconnection, the power grid serving a large area of the East and Midwest, we would like to deliver our power to their grid.”

The maximum size of the plant for planning and permitting purposes is 950 megawatts (MW), enough power to serve the needs of nearly one million households, although the project could be smaller, he said.

Culver said the Tenaska project would match the goals of county citizens in several ways. It would provide economic growth to help keep taxes low, provide the type of growth that avoids placing pressure on county schools and services, add well-paying jobs, and substantially maintain the agricultural nature of the region.

Should a site be selected for construction, the project would employ at peak periods approximately 300 construction employees over the two to three years required to complete the facility. Such power generating stations are typically operated with a permanent staff of 25-30 employees.

Construction is being targeted to occur within the next five years.

“Whether we are talking about construction employees or permanent workers, the company is committed to hiring qualified local residents and using area vendors when possible,” Culver said.

Tenaska’s plants typically are located in an area where a reliable natural gas supply, water, and transmission facilities are readily available.

Tenaska has developed several combined-cycle electric generating facilities. Three of the projects developed by Tenaska have been awarded national or international “Plant of the Year” honors by one or more trade publications because of their quality, innovation, sensitivity to environmental factors, and ability to be responsive to the electric energy industry.

About Tenaska

Tenaska, an energy company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, develops, constructs, owns and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants. The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides risk management services. Tenaska is involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity across the United States. Tenaska’s affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies. Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, provides management services for standalone private equity funds, with more than $4 billion in assets, including nine power plants (with approximately 5,000 MW of capacity), gas storage facilities, and transmission infrastructure construction and maintenance operations. In 2008, Tenaska was listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having the best records in the United States for fleet-wide average emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. For more information about Tenaska, visit www.tenaska.com.