SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A natural gas electric-generation facility called Maple Creek Energy is on the way to Fairbanks Township in Sullivan County.

Those involved said the $700 million project will maintain 19-20 full-time jobs locally. Engineering, management and operations personnel will be hired. Up to 550 construction jobs will also be provided over the 2-3 year construction period.

Project Manager Nicole Makela said that some positions would see six-figure salaries.

After a long vetting process of potential sites, Makela said the Boston-based company wanted to settle in Sullivan County as it’s the place to be.

“Sullivan County is a really special place,” Makela said. “Not only does Sullivan County have the infrastructure that we need to build a facility like this, it also has the community.”

It will be located near SR-63 on a 170-acre parcel with electrical and gas interconnections.

The Sullivan County Redevelopment Commission approved the development area as a Revitalization Area which will now go to county commissioners.

Officials said the project will strengthen local infrastructure by purchasing of water services. It will also benefit the Sullivan Co. community from the direct purchase of goods and services.

The project is still in the development phase with hopes of potentially starting construction at the start of 2024 with operations at the facility beginning by the end of 2026.

“We’ll look to start construction hopefully at the very beginning of 2024,” Makela said. “We’ll have a two and a half year construction period after which we’ll start operations.”

Sullivan County Redevelopment Commission Member Doug Bates said that he believes this is a step in the right direction for Sullivan County.

“It makes me very proud because I was born and raised in Sullivan County and I want it to prosper, not be stagnant,” Bates said.

Maple Creek Energy is a subsidiary of Advanced Power, an energy-development company based in Boston.

A press release by the company indicates that “compared to a typical coal generating facility, Maple Creek reduces CO2 emissions by nearly 65%, and by 35% compared to typical single-cycle natural gas generators. The facility meets National Ambient Air Quality Standards as established in the Clean Air Act. These standards protect public health and the environment. Efficient air cooling and wastewater recycling minimize water consumption.” The release goes on to say, “natural gas is a clean, abundant, domestically available fuel source that promotes U.S. energy independence.”

The facility is expected to produce approximately 600 MW of electricity- enough energy to power 600,000 homes. It will utilize state-of-the-art turbine technology to create electricity via a steam turbine.