Plans are underway to build plant

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

While it might be hard to believe in this economy, officials say hundreds of jobs are coming to the region.

Officials say they have passed the biggest hurdle when it comes to building a clean coal power plant in Bell County.

The site off of highway 1-19 in Bell County might be an empty field now, but officials say in a few years this will dramatically change the economy in the tri-state area.

Bell County officials say they now have the ten million dollars needed to apply for a permit to build a plant.

Sky Energy leaders intend to undertake the full development of the project.

Officials say this means the dream of a nearly two billion dollar power plant is a reality.

"It changes the landscape... it changes the education rate. It brings a tax rate that will be unbelievable that we will continue to use for more infrastructure. It will create a better life in Bell County," said Rob Lincks with the Bell County Chamber of Commerce.

For the first few years, officials say the project will require more than 15 hundred jobs ... leaving 300 sustained to run the plant.
The jobs are estimated to pay nearly 30 dollars an hour.
Officials say it will be a 600 mega watt power plant that will use 2 million tons of local coal every year.

If all goes well officials say they hope to break ground in less than two years.

The next step officials say is getting the E.P.A. to approve the permit.
Leaders say that should not be a problem because site studies show the land qualifies.

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