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LCRA breaks ground on 2nd energy peaker unit

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (center) joined LCRA officials and other dignitaries at a ceremonial groundbreaking on April 9 at the site of a two-unit peaker plant that the Lower Colorado River Authority is building near Maxwell. Pictured are (from left) Caldwell County Commissioner Edward Theriot, Public Utility Commission of Texas member Kathleen Jackson, state Rep. Stan Gerdes, LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson, LCRA board Chair Tim Timmerman, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, PUC member Lori Cobos, and Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden. Courtesy photo

The Lower Colorado River Authority recently broke ground on a second peaker unit in Caldwell County that will double the energy production available during times of high demand.  

“When (power) grid demand is at its peak, peaker plants like this facility can quickly span up to ensure that the grid remains strong, even as we set new demand records every summer,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who attended the April 9 groundbreaking. “These plants will provide Texans with the power they need for their homes and businesses and help ensure we have the resources needed to power a bigger, better Texas.”

The new unit joins one already under construction on a 51-acre site in Maxwell near San Marcos. Together, the two units will provide 380 megawatts of power and create 300 new jobs in the area. The first unit is expected to be completed in 2025; the second in 2026.

A name for the new facility was announced at the groundbreaking: Timmerman Power Plant, after current LCRA Board of Directors Chair Tim Timmerman, an Austin real estate investor/developer who has served in that position since 2011. He has been on the board since 2008.

“This is a great project for LCRA and a great project for the state of Texas,” Timmerman said at the groundbreaking. “I had no idea about the name until today, and I’m speechless. I’m honored beyond what words can express.”

While announcing the name, LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said Timmerman has played a key role in expanding LCRA’s power portfolio to include the new plant.

“Tim Timmerman has been a champion of these peaker units from the beginning, and naming this plant in his honor is a fitting legacy to the strong vision and leadership he has displayed since he joined the LCRA board 16 years ago,” Wilson said.

Each of the two units can supply up to 190 megawatts of dispatchable power to the state grid. When operating at full capacity, the Timmerman Power Plant will be able to supply enough electricity to power more than 100,000 homes during periods of peak demand.