Natural gas power plant may be headed to Van Alstyne area

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- A new power plant may be making its way to Grayson County.

The natural gas fired plant would be built right outside Van Alstyne and would help support peak energy demand across the area.

Officials say the power plant would be built right outside Van Alstyne city limits on Ballard Road.

The owner -- Navasota Energy -- is working its way through the permitting phase.

They say the plant would not only help the environment but the local economy as well.

This is the proposed site of the Van Alstyne Energy Center.

City Manager, Frank Baker, says Navasota Energy Company thought the property outside the city limits was a perfect location for their natural gas power plant.

"We have several natural gas lines running through the community as well as high power lines, and they viewed that as beneficial connect the infrastructure," Baker said.

According to Navasota Energy, the 543 mega-watt natural gas-fired power plant could serve the electricity needs of up to half a million homes during peak periods.

The plant would use advanced emissions-control technology and would operate less than 1000 hours per year during peak periods in the north zone of the ERCOT power grid.

"The benefit to the citizens and businesses is redundant power during peak demands during the summer and winter so that's beneficial for the residents as far as brown outs are concerned," Baker said.

News 12 spoke to the President of Navasota Energy today -- he declined to go on camera because the plant proposal is now in a public comment period.

Residents we spoke to say they're *not opposed to having this type of power plant in the area.

"Instead of burning of coal that puts off pollution in the air and this is natural, I think it's beneficial to Van Alstyne," resident, Joel Hubbard said.

"I think it's a good thing, mainly because Van Alstyne is growing," said resident, David Morgan. "In the next few years we are expecting to see a lot of growth here, so I think a power plant is going to be necessary as part of the infrastructure here."

If the permitting is approved, city manager says construction would begin in 2016 for completion in the spring of 2017.

The project construction would create at least 50 new jobs.

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