COAL CITY – Competitive Power Ventures held an open house Tuesday night at Coal City High School to showcase the state-of-the-art electric generating facility that will be built at a price tag of nearly $1 billion.
Michael Bruno, project director for the Three Rivers Energy Center, said that the company likes to take a proactive approach when they come into a community.
"It's a great opportunity for the community to learn about the project and meet the team," Bruno said.
He said CPV has a history of holding public events once a project is well defined, which is where they are on the Three Rivers project.
The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center is a privately funded project that aims to meet the future electricity demands of Illinois. The 1,100-megawatt natural gas-powered 2-by-1 combined cycle facility will provide enough electricity to power about 1.1 million homes.
The project's goal is to have construction begin by the fourth quarter of 2018 and start supplying electricity by 2021.
Several union representatives and workers were on hand to see how the 2 1/2-year construction process will affect the trades people they represent. The construction process is expected to create 300 to 500 locally sourced union jobs.
Nancy Norton Ammer, CEO of the Grundy Economic Development Council, said the $1 billion investment is a great opportunity for the union workers in the county, as well as those in the energy field, who will find full-time permanent jobs at the location once the construction is complete.
Once open, the facility is expected to have 25 full-time operational jobs with more than $3 million in payroll and benefits. There will be some indirect job creation as well, when factoring in landscaping, janitorial work and other jobs, Bruno said.
Bruno said holding community forums not only gives project planners a chance to introduce themselves and reveal project details, but it also allows them to hear and address concerns that come up repeatedly.
"We've already made refinements for cooling at the station," Bruno said. "There was concern abut using water from the Illinois River, so we have modified our cooling structure to use air cooling methods with no impact to the river."
The 80-acre project site is just south of Exelon’s Dresden Generating Station in Goose Lake Township. The building, which will sit southwest of the mouth of the Kankakee River, will occupy 30 acres.