Combined Cycle, Gas, Gas Turbines, New Projects, Renewables

Entergy Texas building up gas-fired capacity, transmission links in southeast

Entergy Texas this week highlighted more than $1 billion in key investments it’s making in power generation, transmission and customer engagement projects for that state and its 450,000 customers.

The projects are part of the utility’s Bright Future plan for southeast Texas. It will build on electricity capacity, reliability and economic development for the region.

Earlier this year, Entergy Texas broke ground on the $937 million Montgomery County Power Station. The combined cycle gas turbine plant, Entergy Texas’ first new-build power station in 40 years in the state, will generate 993 MW when placed into service in 2021.

Entergy Texas credited Texas legislators for empowering the state’s Public Utility Commission to improve regulatory frameworks for companies wanting to build electric generation capacity. HB 1397, by Rep. Dade Phelan (Beaumont) and Sen. Robert Nichols (Jacksonville) allows the Public Utility Commission of Texas to approve a rider that would permit a non-ERCOT utility to recover electric generation investments without regulatory lag, improving electric utilities’ ability to power a growing region.

“I would like to thank Governor Abbott, Chairman Phelan, Senator Nichols, and the Legislature for their commitment to ensuring that Texas remains economically competitive,” Sallie Rainer, president and CEO of Entergy Texas, in a statement. “Entergy Texas is committed to making the investments today that will enable future growth. The ability, with approval from the Public Utility Commission, to begin recovering these investments in a more timely manner will help us as we create value for our four key stakeholders – customers, employees, communities and owners.”

On the transmission side, last month the utility placed the 230-kV China-Stowell line into service. Entergy Texas also completed the first phase of the Western Region Economic Project, a rebuild of the Newton Bulk to Leach line.

Advanced meter infrastructure deployment also is well underway, with more than 35,000 smart meters installed. And in March, Entergy Texas issued a request for proposals for up to 200 MW of solar photovoltaic resources in Texas.

Entergy Texas is a unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., which owns and operates about 30,000 MW of electric generating capacity and delivers it to customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Entergy Corp. is host utility for POWERGEN International, the annual power generation conference and exhibition event. POWERGEN will be Nov. 19-21 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and [email protected]).