The city of Temple is powering up. It will now become the home of one of the cleanest and most efficient power plants in the nation. The new power plant broke ground today. In about a year and half it will provide 750,000 Central Texas homes with electricity.
This isn't just any groundbreaking.
"Isn't is about time we started building our home here in Temple, Texas the Panda Temple Project," said Todd Carter, President and Senior Partner of Panda Power Funds.
This marks the beginning of big things for the City of Temple
"I am so excited about being here. I'm so proud because it as a long journey to be here but we're here today in a wonderful community," said Carter.
It means jobs, it means economic development, it means
investment it means the future not only for Temple and Central Texas but
for the state of Texas," said Temple Major Bill Jones.
The Temple Power Plant has been in the works for the past five years. It's a 758-megawatt natural gas-fueled combined-cycle power plant, meaning it uses both natural gas and steam to generate electricity.
But first it needs to be built. That alone will create nearly 800 construction jobs, employed by both Siemens and Bechtel.
"We will be hiring skilled craft workers from here and from other
places. People will apply through the Texas work force commission and
we will bring both skilled workers from here as well as from Texas and
the surrounding areas," said Jeff Brightman, President of Bechtel Fossil Power.
Mayor Jones says the plant will employ 25 workers and 45 jobs will be created indirectly.
"It's a world class facility and we're looking forward to being here for many years," said Carter.
Construction actually started early back in February to make sure that they'll finish the project by the end of 2014.
ERCOT projects that Texas will need reserve power by the end of 2014, which is good timing for the power plant's start up.