Construction at Panda Sherman Power nearly complete - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Construction at Panda Sherman Power nearly complete

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SHERMAN -- People across north Texas will soon benefit from a power plant being built in Grayson County.

Inside the fences of Panda Sherman Power, a complex, volatile process is getting underway.

But the result allows what most do without a second thought: Turn on the lights.

"The plant is approximately 90% complete," Bill Pentak said. Pentak is the VP of investor relations and public affairs for Panda Power.

When its complete, Panda Sherman Power will be capable of providing electricity to 758,000 homes across north Texas.

Pentak says the Sherman plant is nearing the end of construction and is now in a "start-up" phase.

"Which means we're bringing in power off of the electrical grid to power the motor, to power the control room," Pentak said.

Friday, Sherman City Council members toured the site.

"Knowing that what's coming online is going to be one of the cleanest, greenest sources of energy in Texas is really a point of pride for the city," Sherman Mayor Cary Wacker said.

The plant will generate power using steam and two gas-powered turbines, similar to jet engines.

Panda will pay the City of Sherman for millions of gallons of water used in the process.

The plant get its water supply through a pipeline that begins in Lake Texoma and ends in Wylie, Texas, east of Plano.

"What the Panda Plant will be doing is just using a portion of Sherman's water allocation so it's not additional water coming out of the lake," Wacker said.

While hundreds of construction workers are still busy building the facility, plant manager Mark Kadon says 27 full-time Panda employees will remain when it's finished.

"Maintaining the facility is very complex. However, it is highly automated," Kadon said. "The plant can be started up by three operators from the control room."

So far, Panda says two million man hours have gone into getting the plant ready to go online which should happen within the next few months.

The plant costs $350 million to build.

SEDCO says Panda received $2.7 million in incentives to bring the project to Sherman.