After many years of approvals and an eleventh hour transmission upgrade requiring an extra set of power lines to be built from Dover up to Pleasant Valley, Cricket Valley Energy Power Plant in Dover Plains finally broke ground on June 28, 2017. A ceremony that drew local and state officials as well as international partners and investors was a cause for celebration.
Now begins the year-long construction process for the $1.584 billion 1,100-MW combined-cycle natural gas electric generating facility. The plant is on the site of the former Mid-Hudson Recycling Center in Dover Plains where tire fires once raged and a petroleum-contaminated soil operation once threatened to be located.
Cricket Valley is owned by JERA Co., Inc., TIAA Investments, Advanced Power AG, BlackRock Financial Management Inc., Development Bank of Japan, Inc. and NongHyup Financial Group.
Additionally, GE Energy Financial Services, Inc.; BNP Paribas; Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank; Bank of America, ; CIT BANK; Industrial Bank of Korea; Shinhan Bank; Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; NongHyupFinancial Group; National Australia Bank Ltd.; Siemens; and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. are funding the project.
Bechtel, a global leader in the design and execution of complex power projects for more than 60 years, will undertake the engineering, procurement, and construction of the energy center. The facility is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2020. The project will create 1,100 jobs during its peak construction period and 80 permanent and indirect jobs when the facility is operational.
Advanced Power AG, which led the development of the facility, will be the construction and asset manager. Advanced Power AG CEO, Thomas Spang said: “As lead developer of the project, Advanced Power AG is proud to have delivered a project that meets New York’s stringent regulatory standards and has the support of the local community.”
“Advanced Power AG is pleased to attract partners who are leaders in the energy and finance sectors to construct a state-of-the-art electric generating facility that is designed to be among the cleanest electricity producers in New York, benefiting both the State’s energy portfolio and the people who rely on it. Cricket Valley Energy and Advanced Power intend to be long-term and good neighbors. We will continue to manage this project on behalf of the investors both during construction and operation, and we very much look forward to continuing this great working relationship we have built together.”
Cricket Valley Energy Center is strategically located adjacent to the Iroquois natural gas pipeline and will sell energy, capacity, and ancillary services to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) energy market with interconnection through Con Edison’s nearby transmission line. The facility will use General Electric gas power equipment to produce enough electricity to power approximately one million homes in the Hudson Valley.
“As the largest equity investor in the project, JERA’s mission is to make active contributions to ensure an internationally competitive supply of power and energy,” said JERA President Yuji Kakimi. “We are pleased that this project will help provide New Yorkers with one of the most energy efficient, natural gas generating facilities in the United States.”
We spoke U.S. Chief Technical Officer from JERA, Co. Inc., John McCutchen, who exlained to us that JERA Co., Inc. (“JERA”) was established on April 30, 2015 based on the comprehensive alliance entered into between Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Chubu Electric Power Company (CEPCO).
“JERA will contribute to the Cricket Valley Project by their extensive experience for thermal power plant construction and operation. JERA has also owned utility scale of wind, solar, biomass power plant in Thailand and acquired an equity stake of 10% in ReNew Power Venture Private Limited. In addition to thermal power plant, it is important for JERA to invest in renewables to support sustainable development for global power business.”
We were interested to find out that ReNew, a major renewable power generation company that JERA has acquired a stake in, operates wind and solar power generation in India.
Bob DeMeyere, the Cricket Valley Energy Project Manager, stood at the podium and said: “I’m in a New York state of mind! Cricket Valley Energy Center will revitalize a dormant industrial site, create jobs, and generate tax revenue for the Town of Dover in Dutchess County and the State. We held many meetings and answered some very pointed questions applied suggestions from our citizens working group.I am so grateful to the Dover community for their continued support for this project. I look forward to bringing Cricket Valley Energy Center to the operational phase.”
Ron Hicks delivered a message from County Executive Marcus Molinaro Cricket Valley Energy Center, expressing how pleased he is with the new billion dollar investment in Dutchess County, transforming a blighted industrial site into a state-of-the-art energy facility, creating good-paying jobs and reducing the tax burden for Dover residents.
Senator Sue Serino said: “Today’s groundbreaking marks a new day for the Harlem Valley with the potential to create over 1,000 quality jobs, energy for a million homes locally and property tax benefits for the community. This project promises to breathe new life into a region that has been hard-hit by closures and loss of industry. I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”
Dover Town Supervisor Linda French was thrilled saying, “This is truly a very exciting time for our beautiful Town of Dover. It has been up and down for nine years, but here we are! This is finally happening, a great project for all involved. When we all work together, private and public, great things happen.”
Advanced Power AG is a privately-owned company, established in 2000 to develop independent power projects in Europe and North America. Advanced Power AG has over 7,000 MW in operation, under construction or under development. Majority owned by its senior management, Advanced Power AG has offices in Boston, Massachusetts, and London, England, and is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.