Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) has announced the start of commercial operations at the 725MW natural gas-fired plant in Charles County, Maryland, US.

Owned by CPV, Marubeni, Toyota Tsusho and Osaka Gas USA, the plant is located 25 miles southeast of Washington, DC. 

Named as CPV St. Charles Energy Center, the power plant built with a cost of $775m has started generating electricity after 30 months of construction and over three months of testing. The project construction, which began in December 2014, is claimed to have been completed ahead of its schedule and within the allocated budget.

The combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant features two gas turbines in the 7F.05 line and a steam turbine in the D402 line, all manufactured by GE.

Operated by EthosEnergy Power Plant Services, the plant will sell its capacity, energy and ancillary services to address the transmission constraints in SWMAAC zone in the Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland (PJM) market.

CPV president and CEO Gary Lambert said: “The CPV St. Charles Energy Center improves the regional electric grid reliability with new, efficient, reliable, responsive power, while using recycled water for cooling maximizing water resource utilization and providing a new, potent economic driver for the region.”

The new power plant generates electricity that can power up to 700,000 homes.

Marubeni Overseas Power Project Dept.-III general manager Hiromichi Mizuno said: "Marubeni is proud to help Maryland shift to a greener mix of power resources, and expects the St. Charles project to provide ongoing benefits to the community in the form of jobs, economic activity and grid reliability.” 

According to CPV, the project is among the top cost competitive power projects in the PJM region owing to the site’s proximity to the Dominion Cove Point natural gas pipeline and PEPCO 230 kV transmission lines. Apart from that it also benefits from a reliable supply of water for wet cooling.