Last week, McHenry County Blog revealed that the Village of Oakwood Hills has again been negotiating with those wishing to build a gas-fired electric generating plant.
When such plants were first on the county news pages in the late 1990’s, two companies came forward with proposals for near the intersection of Routes 47 and 176 with what were then called “peaker plants.”
The term referred to their operation during times of peak electric energy demand.
the price of natural gas more reasonable because of increased production using the fracking process and
the closing and projected closing of numerous coal-fired electric generating plants,
gas-fired generating plants are in use more than just during peak periods of use.
A partnership of Enventure and Northland Power is proposing a significant electric generating plant behind the Oakwood Village Hall.
They are calling it the Oakwood Hills Energy Center.
Welcome to the website for the Oakwood Hills Energy Center Project. Learn more about the project here, and if you have any questions please contact us! A big thanks to our project partners and we look forward to working with the community.
The web site provides three views of the plant. They are in line drawings and color.
This is one of three views of the proposed Oakwood Hills Energy Center. In the lower right hand corner is a grass covered building which will be an Energy Educational Center. Included will be an exhibit that will show energy through the ages. The plant, Commonwealth Edison and NICOR will sponsor it.
Also included is a projected timeline:
Preliminary approval by the Village of Oakwood Hills: August 2014
Execution of a power purchase agreement: Spring 2015
Final approval of Air Pollution Control Permit-to-Construct from U.S. EPA: Fall 2015
Final approval of local permits from the Village of Oakwood Hills: Fall 2015
Begin construction: Winter 2015
Begin operations: Summer 2018
*Estimated dates are dependent upon OHEC obtaining a financeable power purchase agreement by March 2015.
There is a page dedicated to what are called “Project Facts”:
RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE POWER FOR THE FUTURE
The development of The Oakwood Hills Energy Center (OHEC) — a state-of-the-art natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant — is a joint project between Northland Power and Enventure Partners. This ultra-efficient, ultra-clean facility will allow northeastern Illinois to transition from its long-term reliance on aging coal and nuclear plants to a clean gas and renewable energy future. OHEC will also serve as a backup to the rapidly growing but interruptible wind capacity.
A corner view of the proposed Oakwood Hills Energy Center.
State-of-the-art pollution control technologies
Noise mitigating techniques including stack silencers, inlet sound attenuation, dampers and others
The facility will be odorless at all times, both during operations and while idle
Well-established lighting standards will eliminate light pollution
BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY
The Oakwood Hills Energy Center will provide a safe and reliable energy resource for the region. Additionally, OHEC will bring many economic and infrastructure benefits to the community.
A third view of the proposed Oakwood Hills Energy Center.
Some of the benefits from this new facility include:
A new sewer line paid for by the project, supporting economic growth in the area.
Improved use of treated wastewater in the region.
A new Energy Education Center that is designed to be a valuable educational resource for the community.
Approximately $750,000 in property taxes and other economic support for the community, of which $490,000 will benefit local schools.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Northland Power (Northland) is a reputable and experienced power plant operator with a strong safety record. Northland keeps safety as its No. 1 priority and has zero tolerance for injuries. Despite the potential for personal injury in a power generation facility, Northland has not had an employee critically injured in 4.2 million man-hours of work. The facility will be designed and built with strict adherence to all federal, state and local regulations and ordinances.
Some of the safety and security features include:
Staff on-site, 24 hours a day/7 days a week
No natural gas or other flammable fuel will be stored on-site
Fencing and lighting to maintain a secure property without impacting homes
Who are the companies bringing this project to McHenry County?
Here’s what their web site says:
Northland Power is an independent power producer founded in 1987 and publicly traded since 1997 (NPI on the Toronto Stock Exchange). It develops, builds, owns and operates facilities that produce clean (natural gas) and green (wind, solar and hydro) energy, providing sustainable long term value to shareholders, stakeholders and host communities. Northland designed, built and operates seven gas-fired power stations. The first of these entered service in 1990.
Enventure Partners LLC is a power generation project developer with offices in the United States, Brazil and South Africa. It has been successful in the development of hydro, thermal, wind and natural gas projects around the world since 2004. Enventure develops clean and renewable projects based on a principle of responsible energy resource allocation with a focus on safe and efficient technologies.