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Here’s something you don’t see every day

Friday, Jan 29, 2016

* A huge Illinois project, privately funded with a union-friendly leadership. From the Morris Herald News

Competitive Power Ventures announced Thursday its intention to open a state-of-the-art electric generating facility in the Three Rivers area of unincorporated Grundy County.

The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center is a nearly $1 billion privately funded project designed to meet the future electricity demands of Illinois. The 1,100-megawatt natural gas-powered 2-by-1 combined cycle facility will provide enough electricity to power about 1.1 million homes.

With a lengthy permit process ahead for the facility, Three Rivers project director Michael Bruno said the company has set a goal of beginning construction in 2018 and supplying electricity by 2021. The 21⁄2-year construction process is expected to create 300 to 500 locally sourced union jobs.

“Grundy County has an amazing, ready-made union workforce,” Bruno said. “That’s huge for us. We see unions as an essential partner.” […]

Norton Ammer said the tax base enhancement will be huge. Seven taxing bodies would receive funds, including Coal City schools and protection agencies, Goose Lake Township and Grundy County.

I’m thinking we won’t see a triumphant press release from DCEO on this anytime soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    Are they going to harness the power of the Death Spiral?

    There’s some big money betting on conversion to natural-gas for electricity. Big money betting on liquifying it for export, as well. That’s a big fight, between those who want to keep it here and cheaper, and those who want to sell it abroad.


  2. - Henry Francis - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    DCEO doesn’t issue any press releases. For all of 2015 they issued a grand total of 6. Apparently no news is good news for the businessman’s business department.


  3. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    “We see unions as an essential partner.”

    Enough said.


  4. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    Shows how economic development can be done cooperatively — although I wish it was wind, geothermal or carbon-sequestered or something like that. The extent to which the GOP has doubled down on ideology on so many issues is just remarkable. I believe Andrew Sullivan, shortly before he closed down his blog, described it as being “allergic to fact” or something like that.


  5. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    - We see unions as an essential partner. -

    Real business people understand you can’t build things like this with low wage, unskilled labor. Bruce should take some lessons.


  6. - northernwatersports - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Well….on the surface the project seems to be win/win/win/win….

    Taxpayer friendly, community friendly, labor friendly, business friendly, environmentally friendly-er (than coal), and presented in a positive way.

    What’s not to like!!!


  7. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    Often unions are an essential partner in building large scale construction projects. Building & Trades unions supply a good workforce and spending time and money training their workforce.

    All that being said, that project did not locate there because of the union workforce, they will be an essential partner in getting it done, but they were not one of the top factors in that project locating there.


  8. - Pelonski - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    This is the type of thing businesses don’t like about Illinois:

    “With a lengthy permit process ahead for the facility..”

    While there are some that will never move here because we are not a right to work state, that’s never listed as a major issue for most business groups. Instead, of battling the union windmill, the Governor should be addressing the concerns businesses looking to move into Illinois actually raise.


  9. - Mama - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    This is good for everyone but the coal miners.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    “Grundy County has an amazing, ready-made union workforce,” Bruno said. “That’s huge for us. We see unions as an essential partner.”

    This is the kind of economic growth that is good for the state, not the race to the bottom way of RTW and repealing the prevailing wage.


  11. - walker - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Coal City is cooking with gas.


  12. - Bemused - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    I would think the only real future for Coal is Gasification. Problem for that is it has always been to expensive.


  13. - Dee Lay - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    >

    At a macro level - yes, I can agree with your statement.

    On this instance though, good lord do I want a lengthy permit process with a ton of oversight in the construction of a 1,100-megawatt power plant.


  14. - Anony - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    This is excellent news. More of this would be great.


  15. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    …that project did not locate there because of the union workforce, they will be an essential partner in getting it done, but they were not one of the top factors in that project locating there.

    Given the labor issues with constructing the nearby La Salle County and Braidwood nuke plants, I am surprised it was seen as a plus. But there’s lots of experience in the area building mega-projects. The Kendall County generating station a few miles away went up without too much of a fuss.


  16. - Niblets - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:22 am:

    Well alright! Would be better if renewable (not corn please) but it is good to see that someone able to overcome the evil unions to bring progress to poor pitiful Illinois.


  17. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:27 am:

    I don’t think DCEO had anything to do with this. They have been in 100% disarray for a year. Again they can’t tie their own shoelaces at this point. No this sounds to me like competent local Economic Development folk, consultants, and lobbyists putting this together. I’m sure they got tired of waiting on DCEO to put on their socks. Besides DCEO has nothing to offer as far as incentives anyway. I do wonder if the new project is in an Enterprise zone? If it is we won’t see revenue from it. We might see jobs which would be nice. But remember a lot of stuff gets promised that doesn’t materialize. Nice to see some movement though.


  18. - A guy - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    === walker - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Coal City is cooking with gas.===

    :)


  19. - DuPage - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    Natural gas power plants are usually located near to where an existing major gas pipeline and existing major power lines cross paths.


  20. - sideline watcher - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    honeybear…you are absolutely right. The local economic development folks have been working overtime on this. This good news belongs to them!


  21. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 10:55 am:

    Honeybear - you have given me a new goal in life. I now want to be Chief Sock Organizer at DCEO.


  22. - Stormfield - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    Honeybear - The new project is not in an Enterprise Zone. There are a few nearby (Ottawa/LaSalle Co/Grundy Co, JADA, and Diamond), but none cover this area.


  23. - Juvenal - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    === I’m thinking we won’t see a triumphant press release from DCEO on this anytime soon. ===

    Rich, check their website.

    I don’t think DCEO sent out a single ribbon-cutting announcement in 2015.

    Either DCEO didn’t create a single job the entire year, or the governor’s office has them under a gag order.


  24. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    Yay!
    When are we going to see the unicorn ranches open?


  25. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    Nice Team Sleep,CSO. nearly fell out of my seat laughing.

    Thanks for checking on the EZ Stormfield. Wow, watch those local Economic Development people. They are movers! Communities of Illinois, there’s your example. THAT’S ILLINOIS SPIRIT RIGHT THERE! GET SOME GRUNDY COUNTY! GET SOME!

    Juvenal- I think you’re right. DCEO didn’t create a single job. I’m sure they were working the whole time on the private Economic Development Corp. Paging Rep. Franks….paging Rep. Franks..now is your time to take them out. They didn’t do a single thing the whole year. Franks you were right on the money.

    Governor Rauner, that’s a huge huge campaign ad. “Three hundred and sixty five days and no jobs added by DCEO” Hey if you were a business man this is pretty bad. I thought you promised to run government as a business? Why spend your efforts destroying collective bargaining and prevailing wage? Why not spend them developing business in Illinois through your state business development agency, DCEO?


  26. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    This folks, is how we win the union debate. Great job. After a rough week of losing more Oreo production to Mexico, a small glimmer of hope!


  27. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Blue dog dem- they ain’t Oreos, but they were first and they’re back MADE IN THE USA!!

    http://www.npr.org/2015/09/23/442761531/one-mans-mission-to-bring-back-hydrox-cookies

    http://leafbrands.com/hydrox/


  28. - Moline Mike - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    Yeah this is called the free market; the power plant consortia voluntarily decides the best way to build their plant was to engage union help. Note that they were not coerced by prevailing wage or Davis –Bacon laws. This is a winning argument for union’s that both parties could get behind.


  29. - Judgment Day - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    Wonder if this project is on the same site as the old Collins Station (what was then ComEd’s only heavy oil generating station) that was basically dismantled about 10 years ago.

    The site was right on the river, so would be a perfect site for a new large capacity electricity generating station.


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