Constellation Power Source energizing national strategy with new Texas plant

BALTIMORE, Oct. 2, 2000—Constellation Power Source is building an 800 MW, combined-cycle power plant in Seguin, Texas, located between San Antonio and Austin. Commercial operation of the Rio Nogales Power Project is slated to begin in June 2002.

Rio Nogales is the fourth power plant Constellation Power Source has announced it will build this year as the company continues to seek opportunities to meet customer demand in national wholesale power markets.

“We’re building power plants in national markets where energy demand is increasing,” said Constellation Power Source President Charles W. Shivery. He noted the Austin-San Marcos-San Antonio region of Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. “Texas is a good fit for us—a growing area with growing energy demand and a strong wholesale energy market. It makes sense for us, and for the Texas market, to add a cost-effective and efficient energy source like the Rio Nogales plant.”

The $340 million plant will feature a combined-cycle facility with three natural gas turbines. The exhaust heat generated by the turbines will be captured and used to make steam to power a fourth unit, a single steam turbine.

Site clearing began for the Rio Nogales project in July 2000, and multiple water supply sources for the plant are now being secured.

The 30-acre Seguin site where the Rio Nogales plant will be built was chosen for a number of reasons said Project Manager Dan King, including three natural gas pipelines that already serve the area. In addition, King said, the site includes existing transmission lines that serve the San Antonio and Austin regional markets, the Dallas market to the north, and Houston and Corpus Christi markets to the east. He said the plant will also be able to serve the Lower Colorado River Authority’s service area.

“Rio Nogales is a state-of-the-art project from both environmental and efficiency standpoints,” added King. “The plant will produce more energy with 80 to 90 percent fewer emissions than most of the existing power plants now operating in Texas. Also, the combined-cycle generation system is designed to be 30 to 40 percent more efficient than the older existing power plants in the state.”