Commentary: ODEC looks to create jobs, power in Cecil County

The following was first published in The Cecil Whig Friday, January 31, 2014

By Rick Beam

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

Over the past year Cecil County residents have asked many good questions about Wildcat Point, the state-of-the-art electric generation facility our cooperative, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, plans to build in Conowingo.

I’d like to answer those questions in this public format so that county residents have the best information possible about this important economic development project in their community. Let’s start with the basics:

What is Wildcat Point?

Wildcat Point is a natural gas-fired electric generation facility that Old Dominion Electric Cooperative proposes to build in Conowingo. It would be located adjacent to the Rock Springs Generation Facility that ODEC constructed along Route 222 in 2003. At its peak output, Wildcat Point would generate approximately 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 390,000 homes.

Why is it necessary?

There are two trends in the energy market that make Wildcat Point a necessity. First, energy consumption is rising in areas served by ODEC. Second, our region will lose an estimated 16,000 megawatts of power over the next eight years as older power plants approach retirement. To help “keep the lights on” for our members and to improve reliability on the region’s electric grid, we need to build new power generation facilities.

(To read the full commentary, click here.)

Cecil Whig: Wildcat Point power plant gains support

By Cheryl Mattix cmattix@cecilwhig.com | Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:00 pm

CONOWINGO — About 50 people braved temperatures in the teens Wednesday night to attend a public hearing at Conowingo Elementary School conducted by the Maryland Public Service Commission in consideration of an application from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative to construct a 1,000 megawatt power generation facility at its site off Rock Springs Road.

The application is for the PSC to issue ODEC a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

Nine people, including one local business owner, the county director of economic development, Conowingo Elementary School’s principal and several residents who belong to labor unions, testified in favor of the project, which is estimated to have a $35 million economic impact on Cecil County.

No one spoke in opposition.

(Click here to read full article.)

Cecil Whig: Study: New power plant will create $35M annual impact

ODEC VP Rick McWhorter gives reporters a tour of the future site of Wildcat Point. (Image Credit: Cheryl Mattix at The Cecil Whig)

ODEC VP Rick McWhorter gives reporters a tour of the future site of Wildcat Point. (Image Credit: Cheryl Mattix at The Cecil Whig)

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is moving ahead next week with its plans to construct a $675 million electrical generation facility called Wildcat Point next to existing turbines, which began operation a decade ago in June, on a 119-acre site off Route 222 near the Pennsylvania line.

“Permits should take about one year to obtain,” said Rick McWhorter, vice president operations and asset management for ODEC, Thursday during a tour of the plant. “We hope to begin construction by the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, and open by mid-2017.”

To read the full article, click here.

Cecil Whig Editorial: A Cecil Renaissance?

cecil-whig-300x300Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:00 am

It seems that there has been a nice spat of economic progress coming to Cecil County and the surrounding region of late.

On Tuesday, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative made a grand announcement of an expansion power plant at its Rock Springs Generation Facility in Conowingo. Many people probably will probably gloss right over such news, but that would probably be a mistake.

To read the full editorial, click here.

Cecil Whig: New Conowingo natural gas-fueled power plant announced

cecil-whig-300x300Project expected to create 600 construction jobs, 30 permanent jobs

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1:09 pm .

By Jane Bellmyer, The Cecil Whig

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is in the early stages of putting a new natural gas-fueled power plant next to its existing facility at Rock Springs Generation Facility in Conowingo, which will bring hundreds of jobs to the area, a plant spokeswoman said Tuesday.

To read the full article, click here.