Natural gas plant may rise where coal once fell in Masontown




Hatfield's Ferry, a large Greene County coal plant shuttered in 2013, has drawn the attention of a New Jersey power developer that plans to build a large natural gas plant on the site.

APV Renaissance Partners, a subsidiary of American Power Ventures, said it plans to submit a permit to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection within the next month for a combined-cycle power plant.

David Neurohr, a spokesman for APV, would only say that it’s a “redevelopment project” whose details would be disclosed at a public information meeting on April 5, between 5 and 8 p.m., at the Carmichaels and Cumberland Township Volunteer Fire Department.

However, in late January, PJM Interconnection LLC, the Valley Forge-based grid operator that manages the flow of electricity for 13 states including Pennsylvania, received an application from an operator to connect 1,140 megawatts of natural gas-powered generation on the same transmission line that once served the coal plant. The projected operating date for the project is the second quarter of 2022.

Hatfield’s Ferry, owned by Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., had a capacity of 1,710 megawatts. The company closed the Masontown plant because it was losing money. FirstEnergy is now looking to sell or close all of its generating plants in Pennsylvania.

APV is an unknown quantity in Pennsylvania, but according to a cached version of its website, it has developed four natural gas projects since its founding — three in New Jersey and one in New York.

At least three of the firm’s leaders, including its CEO John Seker, came from Competitive Power Ventures, a Massachusetts-based power developer and asset manager that’s behind the Fairview Energy Center project near Johnstown.

That project, a $900 million effort to build a 1,050-megawatt natural gas power plant, is still going through the approval process.

Anya Litvak: alitvak@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.

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