Greene Co. planners give conditional approval to power plant project

Greene County Planning Commission granted conditional final approval Monday to plans for the construction of a 1,000-megawatt natural gas power plant at the site of the closed Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Monongahela Township.

The now-shuttered Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station is shown on the banks of the Monongahela River. Photo:Bob Niedbala/ObserverRreporter

WAYNESBURG – Greene County Planning Commission granted conditional final approval Monday to plans for the construction of a 1,000-megawatt natural gas power plant at the site of the closed Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Monongahela Township.

APV Renaissance Partners Opco LLC of Barnardsville, N.J., has proposed building the plant on 33 acres of property at the site of First Energy Corp.’s retired coal-fired power plant. APV Renaissance unveiled plans for the new plant at a public meeting in April at Carmichaels-Cumberland fire hall.

Before the company can receive final approval from the planning commission, it must first address a number of conditions primarily related to state and federal permitting, county planner Jeremy Kelly said Tuesday.

This includes receiving approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection for the plant’s air quality plan and national pollutant discharge elimination system permits for wastewater and sewage discharges.

APV Renaissance plans to build the plant on the northern part of the Hatfield’s Ferry property, bordering the Monongahela River.

The property includes the former coal-fired power plant’s two cooling towers. One of towers APV plans to use in the operation of the new plant, while the other tower will be demolished.

The new power plant, which will employ a combined-cycle generation process, is estimated to cost $600 to $700 million, the company said. The project will create about 800 jobs at peak construction. When in operation, the plant will employ about 25 workers.

The company said it plans to begin construction mid-2018, though its schedule is contingent on receipt of its environmental permits. It hopes the plant can begin operations in mid-2021.

First Energy closed the Hatfield’s Ferry Power Plant in October 2013 citing low electric prices and the costs of complying with environmental regulations. It will continue to own the remaining 200 acres at the site, which includes the closed plant.

Another energy company, Hill Top Energy Center, also has proposed constructing a natural gas power plant in Greene County. Hill Top has proposed building a 536-megawatt plant on 41 acres of land off Thomas Road in Cumberland Township. A public hearing on Hill Top’s proposed air quality plan will be held by DEP at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Carmichaels Area High School auditorium.