Q: Who is Competitive Power Ventures?
A: Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) is an energy company that develops, builds, and manages electricity generation facilities across the country. CPV’s corporate mission is built around a belief that progressive companies can be powerful agents of change for a better world and a cleaner environment. To this end, we have focused our core activities on developing and operating energy facilities that make a significant difference in improving the environments and economic circumstances of the regions in which they are located.
Headquartered in Silver Spring, MD, with offices in Braintree, MA, and San Francisco, CA, the company currently has nearly 5,100 megawatts (MW) of conventional generation projects in various stages of development and construction. The company’s Asset Management division has more than 4,700 MW of natural gas generation under management.
Q: What is the Woodbridge Energy Center?
A: The Woodbridge Energy Center is a highly efficient 725 MW state-of-the-art combined cycle gas power generating station that began operations in January 2016. The location of the plant on Riverside Drive in the Township of Woodbridge is on the site of an abandoned chemical plant that is in a Brownfields Development Area (BDA). This facility will help meet the growing energy needs of New Jersey, while enhancing the reliability of the state’s electric infrastructure.
Q: What is a gas-fired combined cycle electric generator?
A: A gas-fired combined cycle electric generator is a highly efficient assembly of combustion turbines that drive electric generators where the hot exhaust from the combustion turbines is used to generate additional electricity via a steam turbine. State-of-the-art gas-fired combined cycle electric generators are highly efficient and generate electricity cleanly. The power they produce typically displaces power produced by dirtier less efficient power plants, like old coal plants, and helps improve our environment.
Q. Why did CPV pick this location for the WEC?
A. This site provides an optimal combination of factors that are important in deciding where best to locate a power plant. The WEC is situated on a Brownfields Development Area (BDA) that is ideal for remediation and reuse which is consistent with both the Township’s and the state’s desire to redevelop the area and create jobs. The industrial nature of the area is also such that it will not impact residential neighborhoods. Furthermore, the site also provides nearby access to natural gas lines to fuel the WEC and transmission lines to transmit the electricity it produces to area homes and businesses.
Q. How big will the plant be?
A. The facility is a 725 MW-facility, which will generate enough electricity to supply 700,000 homes. The WEC occupies about 26 acres and includes structures about 130 feet high and has emission structures that are about 145 feet high.
Q. What kind of revenues or tax benefits will there be for the community?
A. CPV’s projects are often the largest sources of revenue to the communities we serve. The WEC will provide Woodbridge Township with substantial revenue that can be used to support the township’s growth and development plans as well as to help stabilize taxes for residents. We also make every effort to purchase local goods and services to benefit those living and working in and around the host community.
Q. How will the proposed plant affect air quality?
A. The WEC is a state-of-the-art facility that uses the best available control technology to minimize emissions of pollutants. It is fueled by natural gas which is by far the cleanest fossil fuel. The WEC is highly efficient and thus helps displace older, less efficient power facilities in the region. Because these less efficient facilities are typically older and were built when less stringent emissions were mandated, the WEC will ultimately improve air quality.
Q. Will the facility be noisy during operations?
A.The WEC meets all local and state noise quality standards. It is located in an industrial area that is approximately ½ mile away from the closest area residents and that is buffered heavily by roads and highways.
Q. Where will the water come from to run the power plant, and how much will be needed?
A. The WEC is designed to conserve water and protect natural resources. As part of our commitment to the environment, we use primarily recycled or “grey” water from the nearby Middlesex County Utilities Authority. A small amount of municipal make-up water is used to replenish water that is lost in the power production process.
Q. Where will the natural gas come from to run the WEC?
A. Natural gas for the WEC comes from existing gas pipelines that will be extended a short distance to the property. Approvals for the pipeline connection were provided from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Q. Will the plant be safe? Will local fire departments be able to comment on an emergency response plan?
A. Yes. The proposed plant utilizes proven technology safely in use throughout North America and the world to generate electricity. Safety is the top priority for CPV and the many facilities it is entrusted to manage on behalf of its banks and investors. The design, construction and operation of equipment and systems for the WEC are in accordance with all local and state regulations and will include state-of-the-art fire detection, alarm, suppression and control systems.
Q. How many construction and operations jobs would this project create? Will they be hired locally?
A. At peak construction, there were approximately 600 workers on site. Now that the plant is operational the plant staff size is 22.
Q. Will building this facility have a negative impact on property values in the area?
A. Based on information from other communities where facilities have been built, we have seen no decline in property values as a result of the facility. The WEC, as noted earlier, is situated in an industrial zone that is removed from residential areas and the redevelopment of a contaminated site should, if anything, help to enhance property values.
Q. Will the power from this facility be available here in our area or will it all go to New York City?
A. The capacity from the WEC will benefit New Jersey's ratepayers.
Q. Does New Jersey need additional power generation?
A. Yes, the WEC will play an important role in helping New Jersey meet its future energy needs. It will reduce energy costs in transmission constrained areas where energy is more expensive because it has to be imported. The WEC will provide reliable on-demand energy that perfectly complements New Jersey’s desire to increase the use of renewable energy sources that, by their nature, generate intermittent energy.