Panda Power Funds breaks ground for clean energy plant in Virginia

US-based equity firm Panda Power Funds recently broke ground for its 778MW Stonewall power station in Loudoun County, Virginia, US. The turnkey consortium of Bechtel and Siemens Energy has been selected as the project developer, which involves construction of a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant. Commercial operations at the plant are likely to begin on 1 June 2017.

Once commissioned, the power generating facility will be able to meet the energy requirements of up to 778,000 US households across Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Bechtel is expected to provide project management, engineering, procurement, construction, and start-up services for the project. Siemens will deliver core power elements for the project, including natural gas and steam turbines, generators, and waste-heat-recovery boilers.

Advanced technology                 

The planned facility featuring advanced emissions-control technology will utilize treated wastewater for its cooling processes, which can facilitate conservation of the US state's natural supply of drinking water. It will also prevent the discharge of harmful nutrients into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay watershed. The station will be located in an industrial zone and screened by a naturally wooded area to reduce sightlines.

As it is planned for development alongside existing transmission lines, the facility will not require additional power lines to be constructed. Panda Power Funds president and senior partner Todd W Carter said the Panda Stonewall project will contribute an estimated $7.1bn to Virginia's economy during construction and the plant's first ten years of operation.