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Invenergy confirms Nelson Energy Plant timeline

Plant will open with 24 full-time workers

NELSON – Invenergy on Tuesday confirmed that its Nelson Energy Plant is on schedule to go online early next year.

The natural gas-fired power generation plant has a capacity of 584 megawatts. One megawatt of power provides enough energy for about 1,000 homes.

“We’re pleased to report that construction activity is progressing well at the Nelson Energy Plant, with plant completion expected in the first quarter of 2015,” Invenergy spokeswoman Alissa Krinsky said.

About 200 construction workers are at the 165-acre plant site at 1311 Nelson Road, south of Rock Island Road, the company said.

Staffing numbers at the plant, which previously had been estimates, have been set at 24 full-time jobs when production begins, Krinsky said.

The plant has officials in both Lee and Whiteside counties excited about the tax revenues it will bring. The plant probably won’t be fully assessed until the end of 2016.

But when it is, it could become the biggest taxpayer in Lee County, according to John Thompson, Lee County Industrial Development Association president and CEO.

Tax beneficiaries will be Rock Falls High School, East Coloma-Nelson Elementary School, Sauk Valley Community College, Lee County, Nelson Township, Nelson Highway Department, Rock Falls Fire Protection, and multiple Nelson and Harmon township entities.

“About 85 percent of that would go to school districts,” Thompson said.

The Lee Energy Facility, operated by Duke Energy in Nachusa, is the county’s largest taxpayer. Duke is looking for a buyer for 13 of its Midwest power plants, including the Nachusa facility.

Invenergy bought the property in 2006, with plans to use ethanol and natural gas to generate electricity. The ethanol portion of the project was later abandoned.

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