In the news: Wildcat Point on schedule for early summer completion

Originally published in The Cecil Whig:

By Brad Kroner

January 17, 2017

ELKTON — Officials from the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) told the Cecil County Council on Tuesday that the $800 million Wildcat Point turbine expansion project is on pace to conclude in June.

Located approximately five miles from Rising Sun and 19 miles from Elkton, Wildcat Point is projected to produce around 1,000 megawatts, powering approximately 390,000 homes in the region annually.

Located adjacent to Rock Springs Generation Facility, which has provided power to Cecil County since 2003, Wildcat Point will feature a pair of gas turbines that will offer “greatly improved efficiency over existing units,” according to ODEC’s presentation.

ODEC was selected in 2012 to provide additional power to support the region’s future needs. The facility’s expansion created hundreds of temporary construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs.

Named for a well-known cliff three miles away on the Susquehanna River, Wildcat Point will be among Maryland’s cleanest natural gas facilities.

Richard McWhorter, ODEC’s vice president of operations, said that they employ around 1,000 construction workers over two shifts, a higher number than anticipated.

During its construction phase, Wildcat Point had an annual economic impact of $110 million. Going forward, the facility is projected to have an economic impact of approximately $35 million a year.

Engineering and procurement for the facility is complete. All major equipment has been delivered and erected, and the electrical connection expansion has been finished. The facility’s water supply, which comes through a five-mile pipeline in Pennsylvania, and its gas supply, which comes through a 10-mile pipeline in Maryland and Pennsylvania, are also complete.

Construction is nearing completion. Unfinished buildings include the administration building and the generator buildings. Workers are also nearing completion of the facility’s electrical and piping instruments.

As the facility nears completion, ODEC will conduct testing for around 90 to 120 days, according to McWhorter, who said that large amounts of steam may be released from the site during tests.

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