Power station plan advances in Bordentown Township

Planning Board recommends township action that would allow construction of power-generating facility where Conectiv proposes to build plant.

By: David Koch
   BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP — Conectiv Energy’s proposal for a new power plant in Bordentown has moved one step closer to realization.
   The township Planning Board voted May 9 to recommend to the Township Committee adoption of an ordinance amendment that would allow the construction of a power-generating facility where Conectiv proposes to build its plant.
   The proposed power station would generate electricity only during times of high demand, or an estimated 3,000 hours a year. It would be built on a 110-acre parcel of land, which includes a section of Newbold Island, near Burlington-Bordentown Road and Route 130. The site is partially situated between the Delaware River and the Conrail tracks.
   The parcel is mostly in the conservation zone with a small section of Newbold Island zoned for residential, engineering and office uses.
   Township zoning allows for certain commercial development, however, in the area between the railroad tracks and the river. Township officials said the zoning allows for development of public utilities in that parcel, but not a power-generating facility.
   "It (the amendment) will permit the generating station in that area. It will set aside buffers and will mandate the plant be aesthetically pleasing as possible," said Werner Nitschmann, township community development director.
   The Planning Board made numerous revisions to the ordinance amendment before approving it last week. A revised amendment has to be written before it can be presented to the Township Committee.
   Township officials said the amendment could be presented to the Township Committee as early as its next agenda meeting on June 10.
   The revisions included changes to the amount of land needed to buffer the site and the height of the plant’s four smokestacks.
   "The Planning Board wanted to make sure there was buffering so it wouldn’t be an eyesore," said Mr. Nitschmann.
   George Matteo Jr., an attorney representing Conectiv, said Conectiv still needs to present a formal site plan of the proposed plant to the Planning Board.
   "We cannot move forward with a site plan until we got the zoning amendment," said Nancy Sullivan, manager of community development and planning for Conectiv. She said a site plan could be presented sometime later this year.
   The proposed plant would use combined-cycle technology, bringing in natural gas from an underground pipeline. Air brought in from the outside would be compressed and combined with natural gas to produce a hot gas that would be ignited to spin one of the plant’s combustion turbines.
   The plant would have two combustion turbines, each capable of producing 161 megawatts of electricity, or three combustion turbines, each capable of producing 110 megawatts of electricity, according to Conectiv officials.
   A steam turbine would be added to the plant, taking steam released from the combustion turbines and condensing it into water to produce regular steam that would power another turbine.
   The proposed Bordentown power station is part of an initiative by Conectiv to add 4,000 more megawatts of electricity to its current power grid to satisfy the increasing demand for energy.
   Conectiv supplies power to 1 million customers in Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey.