Exelon gets going on construction at 1,000-MW Colorado Bend gas unit

Exelon (NYSE:EXC) said July 8 that it was officially starting construction at a new 1,000-MW, combined-cycle natural gas power plant in Texas.

Senior executives from Exelon Generation, Alstom, General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Zachry were joined by community leaders from Wharton, Texas to officially break ground on the Exelon’s Colorado Bend Generating Station in Wharton.

Some site work at the project had started earlier this year.

The construction of a new 1,000-MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) adds to the existing 498-MW natural gas power plant.

The new unit will use GE’s most advanced gas turbine technology and an air cooling system, eliminating the use of water to cool the unit.

Exelon secured an air permit for the Colorado Bend II project, as it is also known, earlier this year.   

Construction of the new unit is a part of Exelon Generation’s ongoing growth strategy and will allow the company to offer more low-carbon electricity to the growing Texas market.

The new unit at Colorado Bend is one of two new CCGTs the company is developing in Texas. The other 1,000-MW combined-cycle project will be constructed at Exelon’s existing Wolf Hollow Generating Station in Granbury, Texas, which is approximately 35 miles outside of Ft. Worth. Both units are expected to achieve commercial operation in 2017.

“Exelon is a forward-looking company, and what we see is a clean energy future that includes this kind of new technology, which uses little water and produces few emissions while generating electricity at a very low cost,” said Ken Cornew, president and CEO, Exelon Generation. “We’re delighted to be the first to employ this GE technology, and we’re delighted to do it in Texas. This is how Exelon sees the energy future of America – clean, affordable and efficient.”

“For future prosperity in Wharton County, we are going to need more power,” said Wharton Mayor Domingo Montalvo, Jr. “Exelon assures me that we’ll have the most efficient, reliable power that can be produced with this new unit.”

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.