Info Meeting on Proposed Power Plant in Newark 9/3 at 7pm
The City of Newark is holding a Community Information Session on September 3rd at 7pm at the George Wilson Center on 303 New London Road in Newark about the proposed 248 megawatt gas power plant/data center on the UD Star campus (the site of the former Chrysler plant), which also happens to be located right next to the train tracks carrying tar sands crude.
What: Newark Gas Power Plant/Data Center Community Information Session
When: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 7pm
Where: George Wilson Center. 303 New London Road--across from UD Marriott
Had no idea a huge gas power plant was in the works in Newark, one of Delaware's most densely populated cities? You are not alone! The news has been kept very tightly under wraps by the City of Newark, the company and the UD. The City of Newark Council voted to keep details of this proposed project private and have been in secret communications with Data Centers LLC, the West Chester, PA company behind the project, for over a year. It was only after private citizens became aware of the project and called mightily for a public information session that the city agreed to schedule the September 3rd meeting at the George Wilson Center. Unfortunately, they still completely neglected to even mention the power plant aspect of the project in their flyer advertising the event (see below).
Because of this secrecy, there’s plenty of details we don’t know about this project. What we do know is that Data Centers , LLC is proposing to build a 900,000-square-foot structure for housing computer servers, which would be run by energy created onsite via a natural gas fueled turbine system. The facility will create way more more energy than they need with plans to sell this excess energy to the city of Newark. In fact, Data Centers, LLC already has an agreement with the Delaware Municipal Electric Corp (DMEC, the supplier of power to Newark’s city-owned utility) for selling the excess power.
To offer some perspective, it’s important to note that the Hope Creek Thermal Nuclear Power Plant generates a little over 1000 megawatts--while this plant will produce as much as one quarter that amount (248 megawatts)--and the proposed location is right in the middle of a residential town with a population of 30,000. It’s also important to note that the current city of Newark electric load is only 92 megawatts.
All this has, so far, been discussed among the City Council, DMEC, Delaware’s Economic Development Office and the University of Delaware with no oversight, citizen involvement or awareness!
The Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club is in opposition to this project moving forward. Specifically, we have concerns about how the community will be impacted by adding a major industrial site in the middle of a residential area (residents thought they could breath easier after Chrysler left), the lack of transparency and community oversight, the reliance on natural gas for the creation of power and the implications for public health and the climate via increased emissions.
Moving forward we do hope to find out more details about this project and we do urge you to attend this important public information session.