Grayson, Alabama — The Grayson County Public Utility District (GCPD) will begin building a $500M power plant to help fuel an emerging rural revolution in the southeastern part of the state.
The county is looking to invest $500m in a new plant to create up to 15,000 megawatts of energy by 2022, as part of a $3 billion stimulus package that also includes $150m in incentives for local businesses.
The project is one of the largest in the country, but the county’s plan is also a departure from the standard of rural development in the south.
It’s the first of its kind in the state, and the first one in Grayson County, where the average annual household income is just $42,500, according to census data.
A second plant would help boost the county with more than 12,000 acres of undeveloped farmland and will include more than 100 turbines.
GCPD officials have already begun the environmental review process for the new facility, which will be built in a site about a half-hour drive from downtown, said Dan Moore, GCPD’s director of economic development.
The facility will be located on the east side of the county, which has a population of about 11,000.
The state’s renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, requires power plants to use renewable energy, such as solar and wind, in the same area.
GC PD is expected to receive a waiver for the project if it meets the standard.
As a result, the GCPD will be able to receive tax credits from the state in exchange for using the new plant, according the county.
The incentives are contingent on the plant producing more than 5,000 MW, or enough power to power an average of eight homes, Moore said.
The new facility is expected not only to help boost power production in Grayson, but also to help provide jobs and other services to the surrounding community.
The power plant is expected be operational in 2021.
“We want to create jobs in the area and create more revenue to be able pay for the infrastructure that is needed,” Moore said of the project.
“We’re going to be in a position where the whole village can come back and we’re going get a $50 million stimulus fund for this project.”