YAKIMA — A North Carolina-based energy company is negotiating with Energy Northwest to buy its property in Grays Harbor County to build a 500-megawatt power plant.
The $250 million, state-of-the-art plant would use two natural gas turbines and one steam turbine to produce electricity, said Richard Fernandez, manager of public affairs for Duke Energy North America, a Houston-based subsidiary of Duke Energy in Charlotte, N.C.
The plant could start producing power in 2002 or 2003, he said Thursday. A possible purchase price for the deal was not disclosed.
The site is 40 acres on the original 1,600-acre property where Energy Northwest, then called the Washington Public Power Supply System, began building two nuclear power plants in the 1970s. The projects were later terminated.
In 1996, the supply system and Bonneville Power Administration paid the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority $15 million to take over what is now called the Satsop Development Park.
As part of the deal, Energy Northwest, a 13-utility consortium, retained 20 acres at Satsop, with the option to buy an adjacent 20-acre site. Energy Northwest also obtained all permits necessary to operate the combustion turbines.
Under the agreement being negotiated, Duke would build the first plant and Energy Northwest would operate it, he said.
The supply system changed its name to Energy Northwest in 1999 to escape the unfortunate WPPSS acronym as the consortium sought to improve its image.
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