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LCRA to build new peaker plant in Caldwell County

Winchester Power Plant in La Grange, Texas

The Winchester Power Plant 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 in Caldwell County. Courtesy photo

The Lower Colorado River Authority chose Caldwell County as the site for its new peaker power plant, which will provide about 190 megawatts of dispatchable power to the Texas power grid when operational in 2025. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

“Thousands of people are moving to our state every week,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said in a media release. “I’m proud LCRA is continuing to develop new sources of power to help support our state’s dynamic growth.”

Peakers are used for brief periods when the demand for power threatens to exceed the amount available. 

When the need for power approaches or exceeds what is available from renewable and other thermal generation, the natural gas-fueled plant will be able to ramp up or shut off within minutes. Its 10 Wärtsilä-brand reciprocating, or piston, engines will provide about 19 megawatts of power. 

This will be the LCRA’s second peaker plant. The first was built in Fayette County in 2010. 

The LCRA announced its intentions to build the new plant in January but not a location