Power plant more than 60 percent complete
The sale of Canal Unit III next to Sandwich Marina and the massive industrial-scale construction project is a mere six days behind schedule, and the project is 62 percent complete, selectmen were told September 27.
The NRG Canal utility sold the unit under construction to the Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, an asset management firm, which plans to own the entire canalside power plant for at least two decades, depending on market conditions and the power-generation industry. The firm plans to honor the NRG host community agreement with the town.
Sandwich has been situationally invested in the electric utility industry since the late 1960s. Now it is reinvested, hopefully for the long-term given a contractual revenue stream via a host community agreement spanning 20 years.
Selectmen in that light asked a host of partnership questions in straightforward fashion, ranging from the number of cranes and safety officers on site to Stonepeak goals for Units I and II, as well as noise control and how it will be more centralized than ever before at the plant.
NRG Energy and Stonepeak representatives were also asked about the Pilgrim nuclear power plant’s pending closing at Manomet on Unit III.
Selectmen were told the plant going offline just miles away would not likely materially change Unit III operating hours in Sandwich. Winter weather, however, could affect operations.
Selectman Robert George asked the Stonepeak owners if they might consider cooperating with Sandwich officials to “gain control” of the property behind Seafood Sam’s near the marina.
George cited Bourne Recreation Authority’s management of the federally-owned Bourne Scenic Park and how it accommodates campers and visitors, especially when the town and Canal Region Chamber of Commerce sponsor events such as the recent Canal Day.
“I’m just throwing it out there,” George said. “To the new owner, Sandwich really doesn’t have a recreational area along the canal.”