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Lower Colorado River Authority Unveils Plans to Add Second Unit to Peaker Plant

The Lower Colorado River Authority recently announced plans to double the energy production from the new peaker plant it is building in Central Texas by adding a second generating unit.

“The new plant will help LCRA continue to meet the increasing need for reliable power and support the Texas power grid,” the Texas-based public power utility said on April 9.

“To keep the Texas economy moving, we need more affordable, reliable power, and that’s why plants like these here in Central Texas are so incredibly important,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, who attended a ceremonial groundbreaking at the plant site. “When grid demand is at its peak, these plants will quickly provide power for the grid even as we set new demand records for power every single summer.”

Other officials attending the ceremony included Sen. Judith Zaffirini, dean of the Texas Senate, and Rep. Stan Gerdes, both of whom represent Caldwell County; Commissioners Lori Cobos and Kathleen Jackson, members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas; Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden; Caldwell County Precinct 3 Commissioner Edward “Ed” Theriot; and members of the LCRA Board of Directors.

During the ceremony, LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson announced the new natural-gas fired plant will be named the Timmerman Power Plant, after longtime LCRA Board Chair Tim Timmerman of Austin, who has been on the LCRA Board of Directors since 2008 and has been Board chair since 2011.

The new unit will be built on the same 51-acre site near Maxwell in Caldwell County where construction on the first unit of a new LCRA peaker plant is underway.

Wilson said Timmerman has played a key role in expanding LCRA’s power portfolio to include the new plant. “Tim Timmerman has been a champion of these peaker units from the beginning, and naming this plant in his honor is a fitting legacy to the strong vision and leadership he has displayed since he joined the LCRA Board 16 years ago,” Wilson said.

Each of the units can supply up to 190 megawatts of dispatchable power to the grid.

The new peaker unit will be nearly identical to the one already under construction, which is scheduled to be in service in 2025.

Construction will begin later this spring on the second unit, which is expected to be in service in 2026.

Each unit will be powered by 10 high-efficiency Wärtsilä reciprocating engines.

Minnesota-based Fagen, Inc., will be the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractor for both units.

The new plant will be the second peaker plant in LCRA’s generation fleet. LCRA also owns and operates Winchester Power Park, a 184-megawatt natural-gas fired peaker plant in Fayette County, Texas.

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