Big New Gas-Fired Plant Enters Commercial Operation in Texas

The Montgomery County Power Station, a two-unit 993-MW natural gas-fired combined cycle plant, achieved commercial operation on Jan. 1, Entergy Texas Inc. and McDermott International Ltd. reported on Jan. 13. The plant—located at Entergy’s existing Lewis Creek site near Willis, Texas, about 50 miles north of Houston—was reportedly brought online “well ahead of schedule,” according to Sallie Rainer, president and CEO of Entergy Texas.

The plant includes Mitsubishi Power gas turbines, Nooter Eriksen heat recovery boilers, and a Toshiba steam turbine. McDermott said construction was completed with a “zero lost time incident rate.”

Entergy said completion of the Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS, Figure 1) is the latest step in its plan to modernize infrastructure to better serve customers in Texas. During MCPS’s groundbreaking ceremony in February 2019, Rainer said, “It’s the first power plant we’ve built in Texas since 1979, and it’s going to provide great long-term reliable service to our customers here in Texas. And, it’s going to be an efficient unit that’s going to help lower customers’ fuel bills and really deliver safe reliable power for many years to come.” Over the next three years, Entergy Texas plans to invest $2.1 billion in new generation, transmission, and distribution upgrades to meet growing demand, replace aging infrastructure, and improve service to customers across southeast Texas.

1.         The Montgomery County Power Station is a two-unit combined cycle power plant located near Willis, Texas. Courtesy: Entergy Texas

In a statement, Mark Coscio, McDermott’s senior vice president for North, Central, and South America, congratulated the MCPS project team for completing the job ahead of schedule. “Their focus on safety, close collaboration with the client and follow through with the execution plan from the start of the project to closeout—especially during the pandemic—are all hallmarks of the One McDermott Way,” he said.

“The plant will not only meet our customers’ needs today by improving reliability and resulting in substantial customer savings, but it also prepares our region for future growth,” Rainer said in a statement. “Thank you to the Public Utility Commission, state and local stakeholders, for their partnership and support to bring this modern and efficient plant to our region,” she added.

Mitsubishi Power previously reported that the two gas turbines installed at MCPS are air-cooled versions of its G-series. When the order was announced, Paul Browning, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas, said, “The power station will feature proven advanced class gas turbine technology to boost efficiency and reduce emissions. We also will incorporate MHPS TOMONI digital capabilities to enhance connectivity with Entergy Texas. This allows us to use cloud-based big data analytics and machine learning to leverage the massive amounts of data that are generated during plant operations, driving optimum power plant performance, flexibility and reliability.”

Entergy Texas provides electricity to approximately 461,000 customers in 27 counties. It is part of Entergy Corp., which owns and operates power plants with approximately 30 GW of electric generating capacity and delivers electricity to about 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Aaron Larson is POWER’s executive editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine).

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