PGC Council Member Mel Franklin Hosts PSEG Keys Energy Center Briefing
In an effort to update residents on the construction of the new Brandywine natural gas power plant, as well as alert local businesses and general contractors about subcontracting opportunities, Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin (D) hosted a Public Service Enterprise Group Key Energy Center LLC project briefing on March 2 at the Brandywine Fire Station in Brandywine.
In August 2015, the Public Service Enterprise Group Key Energy Center LLC — owned by PSEG Fossil, a subsidiary of PSEG Power — began construction of a new natural gas-fired power plant in Prince George’s County. The plant is being built on more than 180 acres of land that was previously used for a sand and gravel mining operations, located about 1.25 miles east of Brandywine.
The project is expected to create nearly 700 jobs during its two-year construction phase and represents an investment to the local and regional economy worth between $825 million to $875 million. In addition, the 40-year life of the project is anticipated to bring significant tax revenue — nearly $640 million — to not only Prince George’s, but the State of Maryland, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Charles County and the Washington Suburban Transit Commission as well, according to a PSEGKEC “Progress” quarterly newsletter.
“Prince George’s County has had a history of really not being a county where we invest in our own local companies,” Franklin said. “So we’re trying to change that history and we’re trying to change that track record. If you invest your business in Prince George’s County, you should benefit from the projects that are happening in Prince George’s County — that’s called shared prosperity.”
Franklin said there’s $5 billion to $7 billion in economic development opportunities that will take place within the county over the next 10 years. If the county doesn’t take advantage of those opportunities to help local companies, create jobs and grow its tax base, it will be a missed opportunity, he said.
“We know, particularly with construction, that’s a relationship business,” he said. “We need to create opportunity for companies that are in the county.”
The PSEG website notes that the plant — expected to be in operation by mid-2018 — will be equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control technology including a combination of low nitrogen oxide combustors and a selective catalytic reduction system to reduce nitrous oxides emissions; an oxidation catalyst to reduce carbon monoxide emissions; and air-cooled condensers to continuously recycle water for cooling purposes.
“[The new Keys Energy project will bring] about 755 megawatts of power, enough power for about 500,000 homes,” PSEGKEC LLC Project Director Andrew Caplinger said. “This plant will have a very low impact on the environment. … A lot of power plants, they draw in massive amounts of water that run it through their condensers and they release it back into the body of water that’s heated, which really isn’t good for the environment. This plant has an air-cooling condenser that operates in about 200 gallons of city water. We clean that water up, use it and return it back to WSSC.”
Caplinger said a siting evaluation was conducted to select an appropriate location for the project in the county. A priority was to identify suitable property based on factors like zoning, visual impacts, noise impacts, ecological impacts, air quality, water supply and electrical transmission capacity.
Overall, the site at Brandywine was suitable because it was previously used as a gravel mine; is currently zoned as open space with electric power facilities for permitted use within the zone; has an existing 500-kV transmission line right-of-way located on the western side of the property allowing the project to directly connect to the electrical grid; and is in close proximity to a major interstate natural-gas pipeline, according to the PSEG website.
“Right now, we’re in the process of still prepping the ground and getting ready to start the installation, foundation and underground piping,” Caplinger said.
See pictures from the event below:
District 9 Council Member Mel Franklin discusses the importance of the PSEG Keys Energy Center LLC project to Prince George’s County.
PSEG Keys Energy Center LLC Project Director Andrew Caplinger explains the economic benefits to the crowd.
Otis Eastern Service Project Manager Casey Joyce updates the residents and business owners on the progress of the natural gas line being installed.
Brandywine residents and business owners pose questions to the PSEG Keys Energy Center LLC, SNC-Lavalin and Otis Eastern Service representatives.
A copy of the PSEG Keys Energy Center LLC Progress Newsletter and meeting agenda.
Brandywine residents and business owners participate in Q&A.