Coal, Material Handling, News, O&M

Charah Solutions handling decommissioning of Gibbons Creek coal-fired plant, won’t be reopened

A Kentucky-based environmental and maintenance provider to the power generation industry will take over ownership, remediation and redevelopment of a closed Texas coal-fired station.

Louisville’s Charah Solutions is negotiating an agreement with the Texas Municipal Power Agency on transfer of the Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station and reservoir in Grimes County, Texas. Gibbons Creek was operated by the TMPA until it was retired in 2018.

A Charah subsidiary formed for the project, Gibbons Creek Environmental Redevelopment Group LLC, will take ownership of the 6,166-acre site including the closed power station, the 3,500-acre reservoir, dam and spillway.

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The subsidiary GCERG will be responsible for shutdown and decommissioning activies, as well as performing all environment remediation work on the site landfills and ash ponds.

“We are pleased to work with Charah Solutions to reduce the environmental risk and costs for TMPA and its member cities and ratepayers while redeveloping the plant and property to expand economic activity and support the tax base, including the Grimes County Schools,” said Bob Kahn, TMPA General Manager. “The transaction will save member cities millions in expenses associated with decommissioning and environmentally remediating the plant site.” 

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GCERG’s site redevelopment options do not include a restart of the coal plant but do include renewable energy, agricultural, commercial or industrial redevelopment opportunities. The Gibbons Creek Reservoir RV Park and campground will continue to operate going forward, according to the release.

Earlier this year, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and other entities indicated that Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station might be reopened with the state expecting record demand peaks in the coming year.

The plant came online in 1983, providing electricity to the cities of Bryan, Denton, Garland and Greenville in northern Texas. It was shut down in 2018 with plans to restart a portion of capacity, but its municipal customers chose to close it officially by fall 2019.

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