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LCRA building Central Texas peaker plant to support power grid

Winchester Power Plant in Fayette County, Texas

The Winchester Power Plant, located north of La Grange in Fayette County, is a natural gas-powered peaker plant built and operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority. It can power up to full capacity of 184 megawatts in about 10 minutes. The LCRA recently announced it will build another peaker plant at a site to be determined in Central Texas. Courtesy photo

The Lower Colorado River Authority is building a new power plant in Central Texas, which should be in operation by 2025. The exact location should be finalized in the next few weeks, according to an LCRA spokesperson.

The so-called peaker plant will burn natural gas and provide 190 megawatts of dispatchable power to the Texas grid in times of high demand. Peakers are used for brief periods and only when demand for power threatens to surpass the amount available. The new plant will be able to ramp up and shut down in minutes.

“Texas needs more dispatchable thermal power generation that can be available quickly, depending on market conditions and demand,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson stated in a Jan. 24 media release. “As our state faces the challenge of bringing more power to a growing population, I am proud that LCRA is continuing its legacy of providing vital services to Texans.” 

This is LCRA’s second peaker plant. The first is a 184-megawatt natural gas-fired facility built in 2010 in Fayette County.

“With this new plant, LCRA continues its commitment to provide reliable, cost-effective power to its customers and the Texas power grid,” stated Timothy Timmerman, chair of the LCRA Board of Directors, in the release. “The new plant will provide power during peak use times to support the Texas electric grid and provide homes, businesses and industries with power.”