Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center dedicated in Dover

Calpine User Support Specialist Julian Vann, left, holds an umbrella over Gov. Jack Markell, right, as he walks through the rain with Stu Widom, Calpine’s director of government and regulatory affairs. They were on their way to the dedication ceremony for Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center in Dover on Thursday morning. The center is an electric generating facility built to enhance energy reliability for Delaware and the regional power market. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Calpine User Support Specialist Julian Vann, left, holds an umbrella over Gov. Jack Markell, right, as he walks through the rain with Stu Widom, Calpine’s director of government and regulatory affairs. They were on their way to the dedication ceremony for Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center in Dover on Thursday morning. The center is an electric generating facility built to enhance energy reliability for Delaware and the regional power market. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — Standing more than 180 feet tall, Calpine’s Garrison Energy Center has changed the skyline east of Dover.

The plant has been running since June, but state and local officials continued to express their appreciation during a dedication ceremony Thursday morning.

The facility is a 309-megawatt combined-cycle power plant located at the Garrison Oak Technology Park in Dover.

The highly efficient energy center will work to help the state achieve the emission reduction targets set in the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, right, compliments Calpine Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer and Secretary W. Thaddeus Miller on his City of Dover necktie during the dedication ceremony.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, right, compliments Calpine Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer and Secretary W. Thaddeus Miller on his City of Dover necktie during the dedication ceremony.

“Delaware has about one million residents,” said Thad Miller, executive vice president of Calpine. “Those one million residents today represent about 335,000 households. This power plant is capable of suppling 2/3 thirds of those households.

“But this plant is important because this is a modern efficient clean facility and it’s able to provide power at low costs to the residents and businesses in Delaware,” Mr. Miller added. “It’s environmentally responsible because it burns natural gas.”

PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

PJM purchases power through a daily bidding process, making decisions based on cost and efficiency.

“Today’s celebration is a credit to the innovation and ingenuity demonstrated by Calpine’s team, which continues to be a national leader in transitioning to cleaner and more efficient energy resources,” Gov. Jack Markell said.

“This facility also affirms our state’s guiding principle that what’s good for our environment is also good for our economy,” he added.

“Construction of this project put hundreds of Delawareans to work and supported Calpine’s business in Delaware, while also building on our state’s dramatic transition to cleaner energy that is more cost-effective for consumers and helps fight climate change.”

In June some residents near the plant, in the Garrison Oak Technical Park on White Oak Road, registered some

As the raindrops fall, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce director Judy Diogo arrives at the dedication with a giant pair of scissors for the ribbon cutting.

As the raindrops fall, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce director Judy Diogo arrives at the dedication with a giant pair of scissors for the ribbon cutting.

complaints about loud noises coming from the facility.

But the unusual noise lasted for only a few days as the plant produced steam, said Stu Widom, Calpine’s director of government and regulatory affairs.

“There’s hasn’t been any complaints since,” he added. “The loud noises have stopped and everything has been great.”

Several years ago Calpine bought the rights to an already planned gas-fired generating facility at the Garrison Oak Technology Park.

Dover City Council authorized a $6 million bond issue for infrastructure improvements and Calpine obtained a $2.5 million grant from the state of Delaware to build a natural gas pipeline.

The Garrison Oak Technology Park, in addition to the energy center, now includes the 103-acre Dover Sun Park which has 34,000 solar panels that can produce 100 megawatts.

It is owned by White Oak Solar LL, a division of LS Power.

Around the outer horseshoe of Garrison Oak Drive, within the technology park, a new plant for the flooring company Uzin Utz recently opened as well.

“The Garrison Oak Technical Park fulfills a longstanding vision for Dover,” said Mayor Robin Christiansen. “Calpine has enhanced the generating supply infrastructure, increased electric reliability and afforded Dover the opportunity to obtain cost-effective power.

“All of these factors continue to help make Dover a great place to manufacture and a preferred location to live, work and play.”

Pesky raindrops couldn’t stop the Dover High School marching band drumline from performing at Thursday’s ceremony at the Garrison Energy Center.

Pesky raindrops couldn’t stop the Dover High School marching band drumline from performing at Thursday’s ceremony at the Garrison Energy Center.

 

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