Groundbreaking for power plant set for 2018

Plans for an $800 million, natural gas-fired electric power station in Renovo are moving forward with a groundbreaking of 2018 expected.

Michael Flanagan, CEO and president of Clinton County Economic Partnership, said recently, “Everything is on line.”

Renovo Energy is looking to construct the plant at a former railroad yard in the borough.

“They are going through a lengthy permit process,” Flanagan said. “They hope to have permitting done by end of August. If that time frame holds true, they will try to seek financing at end of the calendar year.”

Construction could then begin by the second quarter of next year, he added.

Plans by Bechtel Development Corp. and Renovo Energy call for using natural gas for producing electricity.

Up to 500 people will be employed during the construction phase of the project, which is expected to take more than two years, according to Flanagan.

The plant itself will create about 30 jobs.

Flanagan said local business officials are excited about the project.

“We are glad they are making this investment,” he said. “It’s a big shot in the arm to the local economy.”

Flanagan noted that a natural gas plant is a viable option for the region.

“We have the gas up there,” he said. “There are areas to tie into the New York and Pennsylvania power grids. The location kind of sold itself.”

The project itself, he said, had been delayed about six months.

Various environmental studies including ground testing at the site and impacts to wetlands have been required.

He said there could be some issues housing workers in the region during the construction phase of the plant taking place in Renovo, a remote and rural community in northern Clinton County.

“Some may want to rent and some stay in hotels and RV campers,” he said. “We have hotel rooms and places to stay within a half hour.”

Overall, the project has been met with “open arms,” Flanagan said.

“The cooperation in the community of Renovo has been extraordinary,” he said. “The majority of the town and county are looking forward to this coming to fruition.”