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First State sees Garrison Energy Center as part of carbon emissions strategy

Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media


The new Garrison Energy Center, a natural gas-fired power plant built by the Calpine Corporation, promises help reduce the state’s carbon footprint.


It’s a combined-cycle power plant, meaning that the waste heat from its gas turbine is routed to a steam turbine, generating more power from the same fuel. This technology makes it more efficient than older power plants.

Thad Hill, Calpine’s CEO, says that the plant will help the state and the region meet the emission reductions targets set by the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

“[This plant] will displace dirtier, older generation--a lot of it, by the way, in other states that are upwind of Delaware. So by producing here, it means someone else’s generation, that’s less clean and less efficient will have to back off," said Hill.

The $3 million Garrison Energy Center began operation in June and employs 18 full-time workers and 450 construction workers. At peak production, the plant generates 309 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 250,000 homes. The Calpine Corporation also entered into a contract with the city of Dover that Hill says will lower the cost of power for the city’s residents.


Calpine also built a six-mile pipeline between the plant’s location at the Garrison Oak Technology Park in Dover to Cheswold. They hope businesses along the pipeline will become customers.


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