Texas report lists pending power plant projects in the state

There are thousands of MWs of new generating capacity in the works in Texas, while many generating projects proposed since 1995 have been completed, delayed or cancelled.

The Texas Public Utility Commission on Jan. 8 released lists of power projects in various categories, plus maps of the various project locations. The projects all have had some activity since 1995, like completion or being proposed, with the data, which was pulled from various sources by the commission, updated to Dec. 31, 2013.

The report said that since 1995, there have been 12,578 MW of completed renewable energy projects and another 9,483 MW of announced renewables projects. In total, there have been 43,409 MW of completed power projects in Texas since 1995, with another 19,198 MW announced. The report is basically tables and maps, with no narrative content.

As an example of what is in the report, here are a few of the wind projects that the commission considers as being in some level of construction:

  • Invenergy, Goldthwaite Wind Energy, 150 MW;
  • Sendero Wind Energy, 78 MW;
  • Lincoln Renewable Energy, Hereford Wind 2, 300 MW;
  • EDF Renewable, Spinning Spur Wind II, 161 MW;
  • Invenergy, Miami Wind 1, 288 MW; and
  • Iberdrola, Baffin Wind Farm (Penascal 3), 202 MW.

Here are example natural gas-fired projects that the commission considers to be in construction:

  • Calpine, Channel EC expansion, 260 MW;
  • Calpine, Deer Park expansion, 260 MW;
  • Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Ferguson Replacement Project, 570 MW;
  • Panda Energy, Panda Sherman Power, 809 MW; and
  • Panda Energy, Panda Temple Power, 791 MW (there is also a Panda Temple Power expansion of 791 MW that is not counted as being in construction).

In the pending plant category, with no indication of construction in progress, are projects that include:

  • South Texas Electric Co-op, Red Gate, natural gas quick start units, 225 MW;
  • Guadalupe Power Partners, Guadalupe project, natural gas, 470 MW; and
  • Luminant, Tradinghouse, natural gas combustion turbines, 470 MW.

There is a combined list of projects that are either delayed or cancelled. The big projects in the delayed category are Luminant’s Comanche Peak Units 3-4 nuclear expansion project (3,200 MW), and NRG Energy’s South Texas Project Units 3-4 nuclear expansion (2,700 MW). Cancelled projects include TXU’s Big Brown Unit 3 (coal, 858 MW) and Monticello Unit 4 (coal, 858 MW), and International Power’s more recent Coleto Creek Unit 2 (coal, 660 MW).

Another list in the report is composed of power plants that have been retired or mothballed since 1995. On that list for seasonal mothballing, which are the only units in the seasonal category, are Luminant’s coal-fired Martin Lake Unit 3 (805 MW) and Monticello Units 1 and 2 (1,130 MW). Luminant has lately only been running these coal units during seasonal peak power demand periods.

One of the notes in the report said that announced projects include those for which some public information is available, but the developer may not have committed to the project or made a formal announcement. There is no assurance that an announced project will be built or that the estimated capacity or the in-service date will be met, the report added.

For the purposes of this report, commission staff attempted to update the status of announced projects, but an announced project may be changed to “Delayed” or “Cancelled” depending on a variety of factors. These factors include public statements from project developers, trade press or news articles concerning the status of a project, lack of any new information about a project over multiple years, and removal of a project from the ERCOT Monthly System Planning Report without the project having reached commercial operation.

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.