A New 750 Megawatt Natural Gas PowerPlant is Slated for Construction South of Leesburg

By Brady Reynolds.

A new 750 megawatt natural gas power plant is slated for construction south of Leesburg and is to be completed in 2017.  Panda Power Investments, partnering with Green Energy Partners/Stonewall have plans for one of the cleanest natural gas power plants in the nation. It is going to be used to power numerous data centers and around 750,000 homes. Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest engineering firms in the nation is going to be managing the project, and the plan includes several factors to keep the project “green.”

“The idea of locally provided energy is a great concept. Renewable energy would be the ideal alternative. Natural gas is a much better option compared to coal; however it is still obtained by fracking which is harmful for the environment. I think the planned power plant is well designed to be the most environmentally friendly that a natural gas power plant can be,” said Dayna Reynolds Environmental Science Major at Virginia Tech and resident of Loudoun County.

The power plant is strategically placed in Loudoun County in the “Dulles Technology Corridor” which is the largest data storing area in the nation.  Loudoun is also one of the fastest growing counties in the country.  The county controls 70% of the country’s data through the data centers within the county. The plant will use repurposed waste water purchased from the Town of Leesburg to cool the plant.   It will use state of the art emissions technology to easily pass new EPA standards. The plant will be a zero discharge plant meaning no fluid discharge will leave the plant and enter the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The project received its permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in April 2013. The project will Generate 600 construction jobs and close to 20 million dollars to the economy of Loudoun per year.  The building of the power plant will generate tax money for both Virginia and Loudoun County.  30 non-construction long term jobs making over 100,000 dollars a year will be created. This will directly affect economy of the county along with the environment.

Dr. Patricia Lund, 78, Resident of Ashby Ponds Retirement Community in Ashburn, Va said, “I believe it is a great idea, I Think it is the future and all communities should switch over to it is much better for the environment than coal burning facilities.  I also believe one of the major reasons they picked this site was because of all the data centers in the area.”

The permit for this project took three years to complete and was filed by Stonewall Energy. Green Energy Partners/Stonewall is a limited liability corporation specifically created to make a green power plant. They partnered with investor Panda Power to make this project happen. Panda power is an investment corporation based in Dallas, Texas that invests in green power internationally founded in 1982 to help the environment.

“If it is good for the environment, why not?” said freshman Rozlan Basha.

The power plant will be built along transmission lines that are already in place. The site will be in a wooded area so it won’t bother residents. It will not put off emissions that will bother the residents of Loudoun County. The plant will be located on Grant Lane and will not use any of Virginia’s drinking supply only Leesburg’s waste water which will be purchased from the town.