TEMPLE (April 4, 2013)—Dallas-based Panda Power Funds says it will double the size of the 758-megawatt natural-gas-fueled power plant it’s building in Temple, creating as many as 800 construction jobs.
The company announced Thursday it has completed financing on a 758-megawatt expansion of the plant.
The Temple I and Temple II generating stations will have a combined capacity of 1,516 megawatts, which the company says is enough power to supply the needs of about 1.5 million homes in Central and North Texas.
Panda broke ground on the plant in September.
The construction of a project on the scale of the Temple II plant will contribute about $1.6 billion to the area economy during construction and the first 10 years of the plants operation, according to a study by Impact Data Source of Austin.
“Approximately 700-800 jobs will be created to construct the Temple II plant at peak construction,” the company said in its announcement Thursday.
“During operations, the combined generating stations will create 35 skilled jobs to operate the facilities and an estimated 90 indirect jobs within the community to support the plants,” the company said.
“This is another big boost for our city,” said Lee Peterson, president of the Temple Economic Development Corporation.
“The Temple II plant will continue to drive the economic impact already created by the Temple I project. With more construction, come more jobs and more revenues for businesses throughout our area. Temple II will enlarge the tax base even more, which will help the city of Temple provide ongoing services to its residents,” he said.
Panda spokesman Bill Pentak declined to discuss the cost of the project, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated it costs $1 million per megawatt of energy the plant will produce.
That would mean the latest Panda project would cost about $758 million.
In October 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted an air permit for the plant.
The 30-year-old company operates facilities in the U.S. and abroad.
It built the two largest gas-fueled merchant electric generation facilities in the country, was responsible for the first U.S.-sponsored, internationally financed run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in the state of Nepal; and obtained the first U.S. capital markets financing for construction of a power plant in The People's Republic of China,” the company’s website says.
The company has raised more than $5 billion total to develop and build power plants.