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Panda Power Funds acquires majority stake in planned Virginia power plant

Panda Power Funds, a Dallas-based private equity firm, said Tuesday that it has bought a majority stake in a planned power plant located in Loudoun County, Virginia. No financial terms were disclosed. Panda’s partners in the venture include Bechtel Development and Green Energy Partners/Stonewall. The facility is expected to be operational in the spring of 2017.

PRESS RELEASE

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Panda Power Funds today announced that it has acquired a majority interest in a planned 750-MW combined-cycle power plant located in an industrial-zoned area of Loudoun County, Virginia. When commissioned, the natural gas-fueled “Stonewall” generating station will be able to supply the power needs of approximately 750,000 homes in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Panda expects the facility to enter commercial operations during the spring of 2017.
Panda Power Funds’ partners in the Stonewall project include Bechtel Development, a subsidiary of the Bechtel Corporation, and Green Energy Partners/Stonewall, the project’s original developer.
The facility has been strategically sited in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Loudoun County’s population grew by approximately 84% between the census of 2000 and 2010. The region is also home to the Dulles Technology Corridor, a national hub for data storage, defense and technology companies. Approximately 70% of the world’s Internet traffic flows through Loudoun County. At present, the county imports 100% of its power needs from neighboring areas.
“The Panda Stonewall plant will strengthen the reliability of the power supply in a region of increasing importance to the security of the nation,” said Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds. “Elected officials are being far sighted in working to secure the future. We look forward to working with Commonwealth leadership and our local partners in bringing this project through to completion.”
“We found an excellent partner in Panda,” said John Andrews, managing partner of Green Energy Partners/Stonewall. “They have more than 3,100 megawatts of capacity under construction in Texas and Pennsylvania. Panda knows how to get the job done.
“As a long-standing resident of Loudoun County, I’m also pleased at Panda’s commitment to being a good member of our community and to the environmental quality of this project.”
The state-of-the-art Stonewall facility will utilize the latest, most advanced emissions-control technology, making it one of the cleanest, most efficient natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation. The generating station will exclusively use pipeline quality natural gas to minimize particulate matter and air emissions. The plant has been designed in anticipation of greenhouse gas regulations and will easily meet the new carbon emissions standards recently proposed by the U.S. EPA. The project received its air permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in April of 2013.
The generating station will use reclaimed municipal waste water from the Town of Leesburg to cool the plant, conserving the Commonwealth’s natural supply of drinking water. Putting to use waste water that would normally be diverted to the Potomac River subsequently prevents the discharge of harmful nutrients into the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Stonewall plant will also be a “zero-liquid-discharge” plant, returning no waste water to a treatment facility.
The Panda Stonewall plant has been purposefully designed to minimize impacts to the local community. The plant’s location is well screened by a naturally wooded area to reduce sightlines. The facility will also be built along existing transmission lines, eliminating the need for additional power lines that would otherwise be required to import power from outside of Loudoun County.
The Stonewall generating station will have a significant impact on the area’s economy during construction and the life of the facility. The plant will generate an estimated $20 million per year in direct and indirect spending, increase the tax base in Loudoun County and the Commonwealth — including several million dollars per year in property and sales taxes, and provide considerable annual revenue to the Town of Leesburg for the purchase of wastewater.
Approximately 600 jobs will be created to construct the power plant at peak construction. During operations, the generating station will create approximately 30 long-term jobs with an average annual salary of more than $100,000.
The generating station will be located on a 101-acre parcel approximately 4 miles south/southeast of Leesburg, Virginia. Bechtel is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the Stonewall facility. Construction will take approximately 30 months and will commence upon financing, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Panda Power Funds has filed for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with the State Corporation Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
About Panda Power Funds, LP
Founded in 2010, Panda Power Funds is a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, which has the ability to develop, acquire, construct, finance and operate large-scale, natural gas-fueled power generation facilities. Panda has invested in four combined-cycle power plants totaling 3,103 megawatts — currently under construction in Temple and Sherman, Texas and Bradford County, Pennsylvania — and a 20-megawatt solar project in operation in Pilesgrove, New Jersey. Panda Power Funds recently announced that it is developing an 859 MW power plant in Brandywine, MD. Additional information on Panda Power Funds can be found at www.pandafunds.com.
About Green Energy Partners/Stonewall
Green Energy Partners/Stonewall is a Loudoun County-based limited liability company formed in 2009 to develop a natural gas power plant. Daily operations are overseen by Managing Partner John A. Andrews II, an accomplished developer in Loudoun County. Green Energy Partners/Stonewall believes in giving back to the local community, and Andrews has worked to do that, having been elected twice to the Loudoun County School Board and served as its chairman for two terms. He has also served on numerous community non-profit boards and currently is the vice chairman for the Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center.
About Bechtel
Bechtel is among the most respected engineering, project management, and construction companies in the world. We stand apart for our ability to get the job done right—no matter how big, how complex or how remote. Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals; and government services. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 22,000 projects in 140 countries on all seven continents. Today, our 53,000 employees team with customers, partners and suppliers on diverse projects in nearly 50 countries. www.bechtel.com.