The proposed location of the new plant on Gant Lane.
On Sept. 24 Dallas-based Panda Power Funds announced its plans to become a majority interest partner in a 750-megawatt natural gas power plant set to open in Leesburg in 2017.
Approved in 2010 by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, the plant will be constructed just off Cochran Mill Road on Gant Lane.
The plan is for the plant to hook into existing interstate natural gas and high voltage power lines already running through the site to provide fuel for the facility and to transport power.
Panda Power Funds officials said the area was chosen because of the burgeoning data storage industry, defense contractors and technology firms in the area.
“The Panda Stonewall plant will strengthen the reliability of the power supply in a region of increasing importance to the security of the nation,” said Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds in a prepared release.
Panda Power Funds expects the plant to bring in 600 construction jobs and ultimately more than 30 long-term jobs with an annual salary of more than $100,000.
The project is also expected to generate more than $500,000 in revenue for Loudoun through the purchase of reclaimed water to cool the plant.
Stonewall will be built on 200 acres of land zoned for industrial use. It will sit due east of the the Luck Stone Corp. and just south of the Sycolin Creek floodplain in Leesburg, according to the company’s application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity filed with the State Corporation Commission.
Included in the application are permits the company has received from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Non-Attainment.
A Significant Deterioration permit is for large facilities where there is a potential to have high levels of emissions, and the non-attainment permit puts additional constraints on a facility based on where it is built. Since this plant will be built in Northern Virginia, which is a non-attainment zone, the project had to be granted a non-attainment permit.
“The folks that applied for the permit did a nice job. Their proposal was really responsible,” said Thomas Faha, Northern Regional Director at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Faha went on to say that this permit took three years to finish, which is standard for this type of project.
The process started with a proposal which the staff at the EPA sat with and considered. Everything from where the natural gas comes from, to how it is burned and the treatments were broken down.
After the facility is built, the plant is still responsible for monitoring what the permit describes are subject to periodic reporting and inspections from the DEQ.
Currently Panda Power Funds operations are in North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with foreign plants in China and Nepal.
Below is the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity:
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