JESSUP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — It’s official. The region’s newest power plant is open for business. Invenergy’s natural gas-facility in Lackawanna County was officially dedicated in Jessup, Tuesday morning. This day comes after several years of controversy and efforts to stop it from ever existing.
It commands the horizon —a state of the art power plant overlooking the mid and upper valleys of Lackawanna County. It was all smiles as officials from Invenergy, Lackawanna County, state and local officials cut the ribbon and dedicated the facility at the Lackawanna Energy Center in Jessup.
“This project is a highly efficient state of the art gas turbine project. To us it’s the next wave of power plants in efficiency and puts the pressure on the older power plants that are not as environmentally friendly to shut down,” said Dan Ewan- V.P. Invenergy.
“First of all it’s a large investment in the local economy and will last for a very long time. The life of the project is 40 years plus,” said Invenergy founder and CEO Micheal Polsky.
Three 500-megawatt power islands are comprised of a combustion turbine and steam turbine which share a single generator. It produces enough electricity to power one million homes. The sheer size of the plant takes your breath away.
“We came here seven years ago. We saw an opportunity to build a project here that would be really meaningful today. It was a great effort,” added Ewan.
There was a lot of opposition to the project. Many residents were concerned the facility would harm the environment, pose a safety hazard as well as have a negative impact on property values in this part of Lackawanna County. But after years of hurdling federal, state and local regularity hurdles, this day has come.
We asked Rep. Marty Flynn (D) Lackawanna County if he thought this day would ever come.
“Yeah, but without struggle, there’s never change. I’m not surprised. I knew it would come to fruition. It’s a great thing,” Flynn said.
The Jessup facility signed an agreement last year to purchase natural gas from the Cabot Oil and Gas Company. The electricity generated from the plant will be fed into a power grid that services the east coast, including our region.