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Pennsylvania County Considering Second NatGas-Fired Power Plant

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a public hearing Oct. 26 to take comment on a second natural gas-fired power plant planned for Lackawanna County.

Archbald Energy Partners LLC, a partnership backed by Houston-based Ember Partners LP and New Jersey-based DCO Energy LLC, wants to build a 485 MW plant in Archbald, PA, near Scranton. Chicago-based Invenergy LLC broke ground last year about four miles to the northeast of the proposed Archbald site on its 1,500 MW gas-fired plant (see Daily GPI, July 13).

Archbald Energy filed for an air quality plan approval in February.The Archbald borough council voted 4-3 in July to change zoning ordinances for the proposed site, creating a 430-acre industrial zone to accommodate the company's proposed facility.

Archbald Energy purchased a 45-acre site in the borough last year. The council's narrow vote was reportedly followed by anger among some residents at the hearing, who said it would lead to even more plants and expressed concerns about environmental and health issues, according to local news media reports.

Invenergy's nearby Lackawanna Energy Center is expected to be one of the most efficient power plants in the country once it's built. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. signed a 10-year sales agreement to exclusively supply that facility with Marcellus Shale gas (see Daily GPI, July 6). The plant would burn up to 240,000 Dth/d at maximum capacity.

Archbald Energy was formed as a partnership between the former EmberClear Corp. and DCO. EmberClear filed for bankruptcy and said in July that it would transfer its assets to affiliate Ember Partners. The Archbald project still needs a conditional use permit from the borough council. The company must prove the benefits of the project before a permit is issued.

The DEP's Air Quality Program has issued plan approvals for more than two dozen gas-fired power plants since 2012, when developers began stepping forward to take advantage of the region's abundant shale production (see Daily GPI, May 13). Archbald's application is currently under review, along with several others.

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