- Maryland-based energy company Competitive Power Ventures has proposed building a $1 billion natural gas-fueled power plant in Lansing, MI-area Handy Township, according to the Livingston Daily.
- Competitive Power Ventures wants to build the plant on a 145-acre parcel that has access to two natural gas pipelines, plus another one under construction, and a high-voltage electrical transmission power line. All these things could make it possible for the company to transmit enough power to service more than one million homes with two 600-megawatt blocks, which would make up the new plant.
- The company said it will take up to two years to decide if it's going to build the plant on the Handy Township site. If Competitive Power Ventures moves forward with the project, it expects to take three years to build the plant, and will maintain a construction workforce of 300 to 700 people until complete.
Utility companies are replacing coal-fired plants with natural gas-fired facilities, and one reason is the push for cleaner energy. But, according to a report from The Blade, published in Government Technology, natural gas plants' effect on the environment is only part of what is driving the conversion.
Natural gas also is the best financial deal, according to the report. It takes approximately $95.10 for a coal plant to produce one megawatt hour of power, but a natural gas plant can produce the same amount of energy for $75.20. Power generated by a nuclear plant is even more expensive — $95.20 per megawatt hour.
Entergy Louisiana broke ground last week on an $872 million combined-cycle, natural gas-fired plant in Lake Charles, LA. Using natural gas instead of coal is expected to save the company's customers between $1.3 billion and $2 billion over 30 years. The new Entergy Louisiana plant is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40%.
Meanwhile, the Lansing Board of Water and Light is planning to build a $500 million natural gas plant this year not too far from the proposed Competitive Power Ventures project. The plant is part of the utility's plan to convert to 30% clean energy sources by 2020, and the new facility is being built to replace a coal-fired one. The plant is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2021.