In February 2009, Loudoun County-based GEP/S, one of the partners in Green Energy Partners/Stonewall LLC, announced plans to build an environmentally friendly, clean energy-generating facility that will enhance reliability and transmission efficiency in Loudoun County.
In April 2010, GEP/S won a unanimous approval from Loudoun County government to build the approximately $800 million hybrid energy facility that would use effluent water from the Town of Leesburg sewage treatment plant in the natural gas fired power plant.
The project has been hailed by Loudoun County’s Energy Manager, Najib Salehi, in The Washington Post as a “very good proposal” that will work to save the county energy dollars in the future. This facility will allow Loudoun County to chart its own energy future and generate up significant annual tax revenue.
At present, more than 90 percent of Virginia’s energy comes from burning coal and oil and from nuclear energy facilities. Currently, Loudoun County imports 100 percent of its energy, relying on other jurisdictions and energy companies to make decisions that ultimately impact the air Loudoun County citizens breathe and the unsightly power lines that traverse the county.
The proposed site is unique. It is adjacent to similar industrial uses at Leesburg Airport, Loudoun Water and Luck Stone Quarry. The site contains two existing natural gas lines, access to the existing electrical transmission grid and is located near water and wastewater resources needed to operate the facility. GEP/S is currently working with the Town of Leesburg to purchase effluent waste water that the Town currently discharges into the Potomac River. Occasional peak demand and a backup supply of water may be supplied by Loudoun Water from nearby reservoirs.
The project will provide a clean energy source, fulfilling the region’s needs for new, reliable energy. Specifically, GEP/S is proposing a 750 megawatt natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant and a photovoltaic solar array. The facility will use up to 5 million gallons per day of waste water effluent for cooling water. Over 40 years, this could eliminate 20 billion gallons of effluent from being discharged into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. For years, Chesapeake Bay supporters have been working to decrease the amount of effluent that is pumped into the Bay and its tributaries as that practice puts undesirable nitrates and phosphates into our waterways.
We are committed to a renewable energy component in our project as the VA market for photovoltaic energy evolves. Our renewable component can be more defined as the State of Virginia policies and renewable portfolio standards they may be considering progress. We are reserving land and designing our facility for the future to transmit the solar component of power to the regional transmission grid.
With approvals from local, state and federal officials, the proposed power plant will be one of the cleanest facilities of its kind in the United States and will provide a new source of clean energy for the region and state.
Loudoun Power on Twitter
Wastewater Would Be Used for Cooling
The facility is proposed for 80 acres just south of Leesburg, on property with two existing natural gas lines and two existing electric transmission lines. For steam cooling, the plant would use up to 5 million gallons a day of treated wastewater it would purchase from Leesburg. The treated water is now discharged into the Potomac River.Read More