Tenaska gas-powered plant in South Huntingdon starts testing to go online in December
The Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station in South Huntingdon near Smithton is starting to show signs of life, two months before its scheduled opening.
Plumes of steam coming from the plant’s stacks have been seen this week from Interstate 70.
“Work now is focused on startup and commissioning activities to test equipment and prepare for commercial operation,” said Vasu Pinapati, Tenaska vice president, engineering and construction.
Construction of the natural gas-fueled power plant began in 2016 and is nearing completion, with commercial operation anticipated in late December, Pinapati said.
The operations employees were hired in the spring and have completed necessary training for startup and commissioning of the plant.
There are 24 operations employees, 75 percent of whom come from Westmoreland or adjacent counties, he said.
The 925-megawatt facility will connect to the PJM Interconnection grid and will be able to produce enough power to meet the energy needs of 925,000 homes.
The largest competitive wholesale electricity market in the United States, PJM coordinates power movement in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and all or parts of 10 other states, plus Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania is home to 46 natural gas-fired power plants and the same number of coal-fired plants, according to the state Public Utility Commission.
Westmoreland County economic development officials this year called the Tenaska plant one of the top five development projects in the county.
Tenaska Westmoreland is owned by Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners LLC, which encompasses affiliates of Tenaska, Diamond Generating Corp. and J-POWER USA Investment Co. Ltd.
Additional information about the Tenaska Westmoreland project is available at www.TenaskaWestmore land.com.