The planned 279 MW gas-fired plant, which will provide power and up to 200,000 kg of steam for a new data centre at the University of Delaware, was approved this week by the city’s zoning board after local protests.
At issue were whether the plant would impair the neighbourhood and whether renewable energy sources could be used instead. Opposition to the project included a grassroots group, Newark Residents Against the Power Plant, and the Delaware Audubon Society.
The 83,600 m2 data centre is to be built on the site of the university’s Science, Technology & Advanced Research facility by The Data Centers (TDC), which applied to join the US Environmental Protection Agency’s CHP Partnership in 2013.
The CHP Partnership has estimated that the plant will avoid up to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
An attorney for TDC said the company will take steps to minimise the plant’s impact on the neighbourhood by, among other measures, enclosing it within a 7-metre high wall.