Panda Power Funds announced obtained financing to construct a massive new natural gas-burning power plant in Temple, Texas. The 758 megawatt combined-cycle power plant will generate enough electricity to power over 750,000 homes in Central and North Texas. The plant will be located on a 250-acre site at the South Temple Industrial Park.
The company claims that the new plant will be built using environmentally friendly technology and, when completed, will be one of the cleanest burning plants in the nation. It will also maximize the use of reclaimed water to conserve the state’s fresh water. This is an important consideration in a state that has battled drought for quite some time now.
Jobs and Economic Impact
According to the company’s numbers the construction project will employ 700-800 workers at its peak. Once completed, the plant will employ around 70 people to maintain ongoing operations and is projected to contribute over $1.6 billion to the Central Texas economy over the next 10 years.
More Power Plants Needed
The state has suffered from lack of new electricity generating capacity over the past few years, creating a great deal of concern over the ability of the Texas grid to keep up with anticipated demand over the next several years. The decline in natural gas prices has been good news for consumers paying Texas electricity rates over the past several years, but has been a headache for electricity producers. Because of the difficulty of making money in such an environment of cheap electricity, most producers have simply stopped building new plants in Texas.
The new plant in Temple, though a welcomed sight, will not be enough to solve the state’s electricity shortage. It is expected to be completed in 2014.