There was a sense of jubilation in the air on Tuesday as state dignitaries and officials from NRG announced NRG’s $360 million air quality improvement project, which promises to drastically reduce air emissions from the plant.
And they were probably justified in those emotions.
Environmentally speaking, the effort is projected to reduce water use at the plant by 86 percent, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 81 percent, reduce green house carbon dioxide by 93 percent and reduce landfill materials by 97 percent.
“We’d achieve our air quality goals in a few years — not decades — if all companies would make investments like they [NRG] did,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara.
This is pretty much a win-win situation for all, if the new project does all that is promised. Gov. Jack Markell explained that the state was able to broker a low-interest bond for $190 million for the project that does not come from state taxpayer money. It comes instead from bonds through the federal government. And Alan Levin, secretery of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said that the state will actually make about $950,000 in revenue because of the fee to make the match between the federal government and NRG.
In addition to the financial boost to the state and the assistance NRG is receiving from the federal bonds, about 400 union workers will receive about two years of employment for the project.
This is one of those rare instances of effective government at work, in compliance with private industry.
There is no doubt that the production of coal energy has an adverse effect on the environment, and NRG officials understand that, as well. But it’s what we have. This new project will enable the NRG plant in Millsboro to be one of the cleanest coal-producing power plants in the nation. That is big, and the addition of jobs and money for the state makes this a truly significant effort for all parties involved.
We tip our hat to NRG officials, Gov. Jack Markell and his cabinet for making this effort possible.
Yeah, this year’s holiday season has certainly seemed to come up on us quickly. But this weekend should make it easy to get into the holiday spirit.
The festivities begin with the 50th edition of the Selbyville Christmas Parade (see page A16) and will continue on all weekend (just look at our Calendar on page B10).
Get into the spirit and try to enjoy it. The holidays are a busy, hectic time. These events will help lighten your mood.