Given the large number of pipelines that have been built in the past decade to transport natural gas and liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shales to other parts of the country, specifically the Gulf Coast end-use markets and the large Northeast power generation markets, you might think there’s not much of a local market for this production. You would be wrong.
There is a total of 29 gas-fired power plants with a minimum of 475 megawatts of capacity that have either been recently built or are under construction in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. These facilities are supporting a total of 17,800 jobs during construction, approximately $25.4 billion in total investment, and 26,000 MW of total capacity, according to a recent report from Energy In Depth titled “Natural Gas Power Plants Bring Major Investment, Jobs to the Appalachian Basin.”
Pennsylvania is experiencing the most growth with 16 total plants built or under construction at a total cost of about $14 billion, which is helping to create 8,700 jobs during construction. Ohio is close behind with 10 facilities being built at a cost of $9.1 billion with 7,200 jobs created during construction. There are only three new gas-fired plants planned in West Virginia, but they represent a total of $2.3 billion in investment and 1,900 jobs during the construction process.