Calpine Corp. said Wednesday it will build and operate a 1,000-Mw combined-cycle, gas-fired electric power generating facility on Gravel Neck, Surry County, Va.

The proposed Chippokes Energy Center would cost $500 million. Commercial operations would begin in mid-2005.

Bob Alff, Calpine senior vice-president and head of its Eastern regional office, said, “The Chippokes Energy Center will be among the first new combined-cycle generating facilities in the Virginia-Carolinas region of the Southeastern power market, and reinforces our presence in this important market sector.”

The plant will include three advanced technology combustion turbines in a combined-cycle configuration with a single steam turbine, resulting in a base load capacity of 790 Mw, with the ability to produce up to 1,000 Mw to meet peak demand.

The San Jose, Calif., company will manage construction of the project and will own and operate the facility.

The project will interconnect with Dominion Virginia Power’s Surry substation, providing transmission access to markets throughout the Southeast.

Calpine claims the largest power development program in North America with 37,700 Mw of base load capacity and 8,000 Mw of peaking capacity in operation, under construction, pending acquisitions, and in announced development.