The Lower Colorado River Authority on Jan. 24 said that it will build a new peaker power plant in Central Texas to provide an additional 190 megawatts of dispatchable power to the Texas power grid.
The natural gas-fired plant is expected to be operational in 2025. A peaker plant is one that typically is used for brief periods during times when the demand for power approaches or surpasses the amount of power available, LCRA noted.
As dispatchable power, the plant will be available to grid operators to call upon when renewable and other thermal generation are not sufficient to meet the state’s demand for electricity. The new LCRA plant will be able to ramp up and shut down in minutes.
The new plant will include 10 high-efficiency Wärtsilä reciprocating engines. Each engine can provide about 19 megawatts of power.
The new plant will be LCRA’s second peaker plant. The first is a 184-megawatt natural gas-fired facility in Fayette County that was built in 2010.
LCRA praised the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature “in their efforts to increase the supply of electricity available to Texans and to promote the wholesale market signals necessary to make an investment like this possible.” Regulatory certainty is important for LCRA and others to commit to invest in new dispatchable power generation, it said.