- Cricket Valley Energy has given Bechtel the go ahead to begin construction on its new $1.6 billion natural gas-fired power plant in Dover, NY, according to the Construction Index.
- Bechtel said it plans to utilize local suppliers and contractors to build the plant, which should create approximately 1,100 construction jobs.
- The 1,100-megawatt combined-cycle plant will provide electricity to approximately 1 million homes when completed in 2020.
Bechtel was awarded the contract in October of 2015, but the project had been subject to criticism from local advocates who took issue with the potential for air quality problems, as well as the aesthetics. In addition, essential permits had expired at the time of the award and a new approval from the New York Public Service Commission was pending a power line review.
In 2015, Cricket Valley was also trying to work out the financing details. Earlier this month, however, the agency announced that it had completed financial close, in the amount of $1.584 billion, which included a combined equity investment of $709 million from a variety of sources, including Advanced Power AG, Black Rock Financial Management and the South Korean NongHyup Financial Group. Financing also included $875 million in long-term loans.
The power plant category of construction usually exhibits wild swings throughout the year, skewing monthly starts figures both up and down. After a 137% boom in utility construction in 2015, that segment declined 26% in 2016, and Dodge Data & Analytics expected that trend to continue into 2017 with a projected dive of 29%, primarily attributable to a 26% decrease in liquefied natural gas (LNG) construction. Solar and wind power construction, however, is expected to keep the category from falling further this year.