A group proposing a natural gas plant in Henderson County is continuing to seek contracts needed to secure financial backing to build the facility.
HenderSun Energy LLC owns 2,000 acres in Henderson County and the proposed power generation plant would be on 40 of those acres.
Owensboro Municipal Utilities had considered signing a 10-year contract to buy electricity from the proposed plant, but decided against it earlier this month. OMU has decided to shut down its aging Elmer Smith plant with its two coal-fired generating units. One unit will be shut down by 2019 and the second by 2023. That will mark the end of coal-fired power in Owensboro after 117 years. The city is continuing to consider options for its future power needs.
Mike McInnis is managing director of HenderSun Energy. He said HenderSun Energy had submitted its first proposal to Owensboro, and has submitted its second proposal to the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency.
A spokesman for the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency, John Painter, said it purchases electricity wholesale and then provides it to its member municipalities. Painter said a decision on proposals is at least several months away.
McInnis said the proposed HenderSun plant is a “natural gas combined cycle project.”
“It uses natural gas combustion turbines to burn natural gas and produce electricity. Then the exhaust gas from those turbines, which is hot, is used to produce steam, and that goes to a steam turbine, which produces additional electricity.”
McInnis says it’s the most efficient and cleanest process, from an emissions standpoint, for producing electricity using fossil fuels.
According to report in Power Engineering magazine, that process is being used successfully in many locations, including plants in Alaska, California, North Carolina and Cape Canaveral, Florida.