Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power and Black Hills Power received approval from the Wyoming Public Service Commission to build a new natural gas fired electric generating facility in Cheyenne. Construction on the 237-million-dollar facility will begin next year.
Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Vice President Mark Stege says they had originally proposed its natural gas plant because of the abundance of the resource in Wyoming. But with new federal Environmental Protection Agency standards being applied to new power plants, Stege says a natural gas power plant is probably the wave of the future.
“Trying to go forward and trying to build any new generation that’s coal fired is gonna be almost impossible. You are going to have to have sequestration, all sorts of technology that really isn’t there right now, so I really see the natural gas play, especially with all the natural gas finds and the shale plays and things…I think this is going to be the generation choice going forward for utilities.”
The company will request a rate increase in the future to help pay for the construction of the project.
Stege says it will help with addressing an increase in electricity demands.
“It fits perfectly with what we need. We’ll run it a majority of time in the summers, and whenever we peak it has a cold start capability, so we can go from off-line to on-line in about ten minutes. So it’s an incredible, versatile asset in our generation mix.”
They hope to begin using the facility in 2014.