El Paso Electric adds two extra units at gas-fired plant in Texas

El Paso Electric (EPE) on Nov. 19 filed a “Notice of proposed New Capacity Addition” with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on its plans to build Units 3 and 4 at the new Montana gas-fired power plant in Texas.

“EPE gives notice of its decision to add new capacity to its operating system through the construction of two additional nominally rated 88 Megawatt (‘MW’) natural gas-fired power plants to be constructed at the Montana Power Station located in El Paso County, east of El Paso, Texas,” said the filing.

EPE is requesting all necessary approvals for the project through an application for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) currently pending before the commission. The attached information will be further addressed in the CCN proceeding, together with more detailed background and data in support of the project. In addition to the CCN proceeding, EPE will seek appropriate base rate treatment for all Montana Power Station costs in a future general rate case proceeding.

The Montana Power Station will consist of four General Electric LMS100 aeroderivative combustion turbines in simple-cycle configuration for a project total capacity of 352 MW (net). That is four units at 88 MW each under summer conditions and at the Montana Power Station’s elevation. The LMS100 is a natural gas-fired unit with peaking capacity. Under a prior commission approval, EPE is now constructing Unit 1 for operation by summer 2014 and Unit 2 for operation by summer 2015.

If approved, EPE plans to complete Unit 3 by summer 2016 (with construction commencing by January 2015) and Unit 4 by summer 2017 (with a construction start by January 2015). Related and ongoing facility upgrades include an interconnection with local existing transmission lines and extension of a local intrastate natural gas pipeline.

The estimated cash construction cost for Units 3 and 4 is about $151.2m. Including the Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC), the currently estimated total project cost for Units 3 and 4 is $169.1m. This estimate could change depending upon modification to the construction schedule.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.