Morristown could receive a major boost to its local economy while helping to meet the growing need for clean electric power generation in the region.
Tenaska, an independent power producer based in Omaha, Neb., is evaluating a site in Morristown to construct, own and operate a natural gas-fueled electric generating plant, according to Helen Manroe, Tenaska director of development.
Manroe made the announcement during a presentation at a regular meeting of the Morristown Town Council Wednesday night.
“We looked at several possible locations in Indiana, and Morristown has the right mix of access to electric transmission and natural gas, along with a welcoming community,” Manroe said. “Potential customers’ need for electricity and the price we can offer to them will ultimately determine whether the plant can move forward, but we are confident we have a great site to market.”
Tenaska has an option to obtain a 98-acre site in the Morristown Industrial Park in northeastern Shelby County.
As conceived, the plant could be capable of producing up to 900 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough capacity to power approximately 900,000 homes in the region, although the final size and configuration of the plant will be based on customer need.
Construction could begin as early as 2014, with commercial operation as early as 2017.
A final decision to move forward with development of the plant will depend on evaluation of costs, market need and power customer interest.
If constructed, the project would provide a boost to the local economy with a total estimated construction cost of more than $500 million; the addition of 600 to 700 jobs during peak construction and about 25 well-paying, full-time operations jobs; and an increased tax base for Morristown and Shelby County.
The facility would be a combined-cycle electric generating station fueled by clean-burning natural gas. In combined-cycle facilities, the heat and energy produced by the combustion of natural gas drives turbine-generator sets to produce electricity. The exhaust heat from the gas turbine-generator sets is used to produce steam, which drives a steam turbine-generator set to produce more electricity without using additional fuel.
- Rushville Republican