PSC Approves Construction of Power Plant in Dutchess

Feb 14, 2013

The New York State Public Service Commission has approved the construction of a large power plant in Dutchess County.  It was the last of the major approvals needed, though there are still some issues on the local level to work out before the shovels can hit the ground.

The approval is for a proposed $1.4 billion combined cycle, natural gas-powered 1,000 megawatt electric generating plant in the Town of Dover. The project is from Cricket Valley Energy Center, an affiliate of Switzerland-based Advanced Power.  Cricket Valley officials say the project would create about 300 construction jobs over three years, and 28 permanent jobs, once the plant is operational. Dover Town Supervisor Ryan Courtien says that’s one of expected positive impacts the project should have.

The plant is to be built on an industrial site on Route 22. With the green light from the Public Service Commission, or PSC, and the necessary permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, including air and wetlands permits, there are still a few issues to be worked out with town officials before the project can move forward.

PILOT stands for Payment in Lieu of Taxes, and he says they are negotiating figures, with Cricket Valley Energy seeking a lower tax burden, and town officials wanting them to assume a higher one. Supervisor Courtien says the town, town’s schools, and even Dutchess County stand to benefit from tax revenues. And he says the remaining issues are not deal breakers, but ongoing conversations.

The certificate issued by the Public Service Commission allows Cricket Valley Energy to build two, 700-foot long, on-site, overhead power lines to help to interconnect with the existing Con Edison electrical transmission line located adjacent to the northern property line of the project.

State Senator Terry Gipson, who represents most of Dutchess County, including Dover, says he has looked into the project, sought feedback, and sees only benefits.

The Public Service Commission says notes that Advanced Power and a General Electric subsidiary have agreed that GE will help develop the facility; GE will manufacture the steam turbine and generators for the Dover project in Schenectady. The gas turbines will be manufactured in South Carolina. Cricket Valley Energy hopes to start construction next year.