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Gov. Gregoire approves EFSEC’s recommendation to allow expansion of the Satsop power plant
Feb. 18, 2011
Application Number: 2009-02
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Gregoire today approved the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council’s (EFSEC) recommendation to permit the expansion of the Grays Harbor Energy Center’s natural gas-fired power plant from 650 megawatts to 1300 megawatts.
In December, EFSEC sent a proposal to Gov. Chris Gregoire approving the doubling of Satsop’s energy-producing capability by adding two combustion-turbine generators and a single-steam generator.
“While job creation is especially important right now, I’ve always said a project must meet the stringent environmental requirements set by the state of Washington to move forward,” Gregoire said. “I’m pleased this project will provide the region with significant energy benefits without significant environmental impacts. It creates both short-term construction jobs and long-term operation jobs for Grays Harbor County, and is another good sign of the state’s economic recovery.”
EFSEC conducted four hearings last summer to consider the environmental impacts of the proposed expansion of the Satsop site on the surrounding land, wildlife and aquatic life. The council determined that the project will provide the region with significant energy benefits while producing minimal adverse effects on the environment. The existing plant meets Washington state noise standards. The new permit will require installing sound suppression measures and erecting enclosures around the new turbines should help curb noise levels even further below existing standards. As well, the plant expansion has received all the necessary air and water quality permits to operate.
Chicago-based Invenergy, LLC purchased Satsop in 2005. The expanded permit allows Invenergy to move forward with plans for the project expansion.
EFSEC is charged with providing a “one-stop” licensing for major energy projects in Washington, such as wind farms and generating plants. EFSEC specifies the conditions of construction and operation. EFSEC also manages an environmental and safety oversight program of facility and site operations.
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