A privately funded, $1 billion natural gas-powered electric generating plant is being targeted for Goose Lake Township in Grundy County.

The facility could be producing electricity as early as 2021 if all goes as planned.

If built, the project likely would be the most expensive development within the area.

Competitive Power Ventures Inc., headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., announced plans Thursday to construct CPV Three Rivers Energy Center, a 1,100 megawatt station that would provide enough electricity to power 1.1 million homes.

The project will occupy about 30 acres of an 80-acre industrial park just south of Exelon's Dresden Generating Station, also in Goose Lake Township.

The complex would be just southwest of the mouth of the Kankakee River.

Mike Bruno, Three Rivers project director, said this facility would not impact Exelon's operation.

The permitting process will be overseen by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

If Three Rivers gains its permits, construction could begin in 2018. Energy could be produced within three years.

Construction is expected to create 300 to 500 union jobs. Once opened, the facility would have 25 full-time operational jobs with an annual payroll of $3 million, Bruno said.

According to the company, the Grundy location was one of 17 regional sites considered. Bruno said this site was selected because it can tap into the nearby power grid and has access to a pipeline that can fuel the two natural gas turbines.

"Having completed a thorough due diligence process over the past year, we are tremendously excited to be at this point where all systems are 'go,' and we are ready to share our plans with the public," said CPV president/CEO Gary Lambert.

In a published report, Dresden Site Communications Manager Bob Osgood said Exelon can co-exist with CPV.

"We welcome them," he said. "We don't see this impacting Exelon."

State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Peru, labeled this a "fantastic project that will help play a vital role in Illinois' continued economic recovery." She also said it helps validate the value of being within the region's energy corridor.

"The construction and highly skilled operations jobs created by the CPV Three Rivers Energy Center are significant, as is the competitive edge created by this project for Illinois business through additional, reliable, low-cost electricity," she said.