Power plant to create $16 billion economic impact
Tenaska facility to significantly contribute to local economy, jobs and industry
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — A proposed power plant for the Greater Brownsville Borderplex will infuse more than $16 billion into the local economy during construction and over a 35-year operational period as well as maintain a competitive edge in corporate recruitment for the region, according to a recent study.
The study was commissioned by the Brownsville Economic Development Council (BEDC) in support of the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB), which is a stakeholder in the project. In January, Mayor Tony Martinez, the BPUB leadership and Tenaska, a Nebraska-based independent energy company, announced the development of an 800-megawatt (MW) electric generating facility.
The plant is targeted to be fully operational in 2016.
BPUB entered into a development and purchase agreement with Tenaska for a 25 percent ownership interest in the proposed natural gas-fueled electric generating station. Under the agreement, BPUB would be entitled to receive 200 MW of the plant’s output, enough to serve approximately 100,000 Brownsville area homes.
Once operational, the electric generating station is expected to become Cameron County’s largest taxpayer, exceeding the 2012 taxable value of the top five taxpayers combined.
“This power plant would create 970 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction and another 150 during operation of the plant,” said Jason Hilts, BEDC President & CEO. “It would be an integral piece of our corporate recruitment strategy and is critical for the overall economic development vitality of the region.”
“The added generating capacity would place the Brownsville Borderplex in a position to recruit larger companies, especially those destined for heavy manufacturing which can draw up to 300 MW,” Hilts said.
The Tenaska plant will be on a 270-acre site at FM 511 and Old Alice Road, which has been designated as part of the North Brownsville Industrial Corridor spanning from the proposed I-69 highway to the Port of Brownsville entrance.
“Instead of buying power from a generating plant somewhere else, BPUB found an option in which our community would receive the benefit of additional jobs, significant local spending and an expanded tax base,” said John Bruciak, BPUB General Manager & CEO. “Plus, our agreement ensures adequate and affordable power for our current customers and helps support commercial growth in this area.”
Benefactors of the plant’s added tax revenue stream include the City of Brownsville, Cameron County, Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District and the Brownsville Navigation District.
“Tenaska is an experienced developer of electric generating plants, having developed approximately 9,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the U.S. and internationally,” said Mike Roth, Tenaska Director of Development. “This plant would be a modern, efficient and reliable source of local electric energy for Brownsville and create jobs during construction and operation.”
By the numbers, the economic impact for the construction phase of the project would provide an estimated:
• 790 direct, indirect and induced jobs ($42,000 average annual salary, plus benefits)
• $126 million in economic activity, $45.6 million of which is value added
• $40.8 million in construction-related payroll, plus benefits
• $820,000 in property taxes
• $770,000 in local sales taxes
• $2.4 million in state sales tax revenue
Post-construction, the economic impact of the plant would provide an estimated:
• 150 direct, indirect and induced jobs ($51,000 average annual salary, plus benefits)
• $75,000 average annual salary, plus benefits for plant operations jobs
• $282 million in economic activity its first year of operation, $164 million of which is value added
• $7.5 to $9.4 million in annual payroll (over the first 10 years)
• $460 million in ad valorem taxes to jurisdictions in Cameron County due to operation and related economic activity (over 35 years)
“In 2009, the Imagine Brownsville Comprehensive Plan identified the lack of adequate electrical capacity as one of the principal constraints for major economic development opportunities,” Hilts said. “The proposed Tenaska power plant signals a major step in closing the infrastructure gap.”
“Most importantly, it demonstrates how Brownsville is progressively and strategically moving forward.”
About the Brownsville Economic Development Council
The Brownsville EDC, contracted by the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, is a business that promotes the economic and industrial development of the Brownsville‐Matamoros region and is dedicated to building economic prosperity in the area. The Brownsville metro is one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Texas and the United States. The BEDC is contracted by the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation.
About the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB)
The BPUB is an agency of the City of Brownsville, Texas, created under the city’s Home Rule Charter to manage and control Brownsville’s municipally owned electric, water and wastewater systems. The electric system was established in 1904 to provide street lighting and electric service to the area. The BPUB provides electric service to approximately 46,000 industrial, commercial and residential customers inside the city’s corporate boundaries and to the Port of Brownsville and its industrial tenants. BPUB believes in creating value for customers and the community as the provider of choice for utility services. The BPUB has built its reputation on providing quality electric, water, and wastewater services at affordable rates. For more information, please visit www.brownsville-pub.com.
Tenaska, based in Omaha, Neb., is one of the leading independent power producers in the U.S., with regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh and Calgary and Vancouver, Canada. Forbes magazine ranks Tenaska 35th among the largest privately-held U.S. companies
based on 2011 revenues. Tenaska and its affiliates have developed and constructed approximately 9,000 MW of natural gas-fueled and renewable power generation, of which approximately 3,000 MW are currently serving Texas. Affiliates manage operations for approximately 11,000 MW of power generation consisting of 14 power plants, seven of which are owned by Tenaska in partnership with other companies and seven of which are private equity investments managed by affiliate Tenaska Capital Management, LLC.
Tenaska is repeatedly listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having among the best fleet-wide records in the United States for controlling emissions. The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides energy risk management services. Tenaska is involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. For more information about Tenaska, visit the company’s website at www.tenaska.com.
The study was conducted by Aaron Economic Consulting LLC, of Brownsville. A summary of the study is available upon request.