First two units at El Paso power plant due for completion by March 31

El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE) said in a Feb. 25 earnings report that it is nearing completion of the first two 88-MW units at the gas-fired Montana power plant in Texas.

Said Tom Shockley, Chief Executive Officer, about developments for the company in 2014: “Reflecting back on the year, we are pleased that we achieved critical milestones and the goals established at the outset of the year to include significant progress on the construction of the Montana Power Station and Eastside Operations Center, the appointment of Mary Kipp as President of the Company, reaching a new native system peak of 1,766 MW in June 2014, and raising $150 million in the debt market. Additionally, we continued to experience an increase in the number of customers served.

“Earlier this month, we began working out of the new operations center. We now focus on our key objectives for 2015. Units 1 and 2 of the new Montana Power Station are expected to be completed by March 31, 2015 and will serve our customers with safe, dependable, cost effective and environmental-friendly power for many years to come. Following the completion of the first two generation units, we will seek rate relief for the construction costs incurred. We are excited to be part of a dynamic and growing community and are working responsibly to meet the region’s expanding energy needs with clean and reliable technology.”

The company said it also plans to begin construction soon on Montana Units 3 and 4. This new power plant is located in east El Paso, adjacent to Montana Avenue. The new facility will eventually consist of four state-of-the-art 88-MW simple-cycle aero-derivative combustion turbines, which will be powered by natural gas. The aero-derivative technology is more efficient and provides quick start capabilities which will assist in increasing power grid stability.

Among the cited highlights for the company is that a contract has been finalized for the sale of El Paso’s interest in the coal-fired Four Corners power plant to Arizona Public Service. The company said that it has more than doubled utility scale solar from 47 MW to 107 MW, which represents 6% of its dedicated generation resources.

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.