Governor Jack Markell and state officials recently welcomed Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN) to Delaware as it opens its new regional headquarters, located at 500 Delaware Ave. in Wilmington, following the company's $1.63 billion acquisition of Conectiv Energy from Pepco Holdings in July. The occasion was marked by an event at the Edge Moor Energy Center in Wilmington to celebrate the company's commitment to use natural gas as the primary fuel source at the plant, previously fueled by coal, and to announce that Calpine will pursue the development of new gas-fired generation capacity on the existing Edge Moor campus.
"This is a win for Delaware's economy and environment. Calpine had choices about where to put their headquarters and they chose Delaware. In making their decision about the power they would provide, they've chosen to move to cleaner choices," said Governor Jack Markell. "We put so much of our energy into keeping existing and growing new jobs and it's great to see that Calpine will be putting their energy here as well."
"Calpine, the country's largest independent power producer, selected Wilmington as the hub for our North Region operations, which covers 10 regional states, because we share Governor Markell's and Delaware's focus on promoting excellence, protecting the environment and creating business and employment opportunities," said Calpine President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Fusco. "Calpine is excited to become a part of the Wilmington and Delaware community. We are an action-oriented company that believes in helping to create a sustainable future for the communities in which we do business. Here in Delaware this is best illustrated by our decision to operate our Edge Moor plant, as well as the Deepwater plant across the river in New Jersey, on natural gas rather than coal, helping achieve a cleaner energy future for the local communities and beyond, while providing reliable, costeffective power. Finally, we are preparing to add new state-of-the-art, natural gas-fired generation at the Edge Moor site to help meet future demand for reliable and environmentally responsible power in the region."
The acquisition represented an addition of approximately 4,500 megawatts to Calpine's existing fleet with approximately half (1,949 mw) of the new portfolio located in Delaware. Calpine is now the largest generator in the state, employing 25 corporate-level employees and 112 plant operations personnel at five energy centers in Delaware.
"Calpine could have relocated its regional headquarters anywhere in the region, but they recognized the value of our uniquely friendly business environment, strategic location and talented workforce," said Delaware Economic Development Office Secretary Alan Levin. "We're proud to welcome the company to Delaware and look forward to its future growth."
In addition, Calpine executed a corporate decision to cease any and all use of coal at its Edge Moor plant in Wilmington and at its Deepwater plant in Pennsville, NJ. Burning natural gas eliminates mercury emissions and the generation of landfill materials - fly ash and bottom ash- and will greatly reduce sulfur dioxide and smoke stack particulate emissions. The nitrogen oxides that can lead to ozone formation and carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, will also be reduced.
"Calpine's conversion from coal to natural gas at the Edge Moor plant is another major step in helping transform Delaware's energy profile towards cleaner energy sources," said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Deputy Secretary David Small. "This change will improve air quality in Delaware by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change."
As indicated by Fusco, Calpine is planning to build a new generating plant on the Edge Moor site if it is successful in bidding the proposed project into the regional auction for new electric generating capacity administered by PJM Interconnection LLC. The new facility could be in commercial operation as soon as the summer of 2014.
"On behalf of everyone involved in Delaware agriculture, especially our farmers, we congratulate and thank Perdue Agribusiness for relocating their core functions to Seaford," Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee said. Perdue's commitment to Delaware reflects what has become known as the 'Delaware Way,' that is a real team approach to enhance the profitability of our agriculture and to create jobs for Delawareans. I also want to thank Governor Markell and DEDO Secretary Alan Levin for their continuing support and understanding of Delaware agriculture's critical role in our state."
Also, as part of today's celebration, the Calpine Corporate Foundation contributed $25,000 to the Delaware Nature Society to supports its educational efforts. The contribution exemplifies Calpine's focus on environmental responsibility and complements Governor Markell's commitment to educating youth and future leaders.
For more information on how to apply for a job with Calpine, visit www.calpine.com/careers.
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
DEDO is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov. Follow us on Twitter.
Founded in 1984, Calpine Corporation is a major U.S. power company, currently capable of delivering nearly 29,000 megawatts of clean, cost-effective, reliable and fuel-efficient power from its 93 operating plants to customers and communities in 21 U.S. states and Canada. Calpine Corporation is committed to helping meet the needs of an economy that demands more and cleaner sources of electricity. Calpine owns, leases and operates low-carbon, natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants. Using advanced technologies, Calpine generates power in a reliable and environmentally responsible manner for the customers and communities it serves. Visit www.calpine.com.