Panda Power Funds Plans to Build 859 MW Power Plant in Maryland
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Panda Power Funds, a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, plans to build, own and operate an 859-megawatt combined-cycle power plant in an industrial area of Brandywine, Md. Called Panda Mattawoman, the natural gas-fueled plant is expected to be one of the cleanest and most efficient in the nation.
The facility will have a great economic impact on Southern Maryland. According to Panda Power Funds, Panda Mattawoman is expected to contribute as much as $1.2 billion to the area’s economy during its construction and first 10 years of operation. Gwen McCall, president & CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp., was very excited about the project and said in a statement that it will “expand the tax base, enlarge payrolls and drive revenues for contractors, suppliers, engineering firms, hotels, restaurants, retailers and a host of other businesses.” An estimated 700 to 800 construction jobs will be created, as well as 25 direct jobs to run the facility and 32 indirect jobs to support it.
Panda Mattawoman will be located between Air Force Road and the CSX rail line off Brandywine Road, in an existing “I-2” heavy industrial zone. Panda selected the location in order to preserve home values. The facility has also been designed with one of the lowest profiles of any power plant in the nation and will be located 565 yards from the nearest road, hidden behind trees and berms.
The Mattawoman will be a “zero-liquid-discharge” plant. It will use recycled municipal waste water for cooling purposes, not potable water, in order to conserve the state’s natural supply of drinking water.
Construction is expected to take about 30 months and will start once hurdles such as financing and regulatory approvals are passed. Panda did not disclose the cost of the project. Once complete, the Panda Mattawoman will be able to supply the power needs of approximately 859,000 homes in the Greater Maryland / Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
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