On Monday, NRG Energy Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Gregory cogeneration plant in Corpus Christi, Texas. The transaction with a consortium of affiliates of Atlantic Power Corp., John Hancock Life Insurance Co. (U.S.A.), and Rockland Capital LLC is expected to close in the third quarter.

The cogeneration plant, which came online in 2000, is equivalent to an approximately 560-MW combined cycle gas turbine plant with generation capacity of approximately 400 nominal MW and steam capacity of more than a million pounds per hour (160 MW of electricity equivalent). NRG is paying approximately $244 million for the plant. Counting both electrical generation and steam production, this cost equates to approximately $436 per kilowatt, the company said.

The Gregory cogeneration plant provides steam, processed water, and a small percentage of its electrical generation to the Corpus Christi Sherwin Alumina plant. The majority of the baseload generation is available for sale in ERCOT. NRG noted that this adds to the company’s capacity in ERCOT’s south zone, where it currently serves significant retail load and looks to continue to expand its customer base.

In December, NRG and GenOn Energy Inc. merged to create the largest competitive power generator in the U.S., giving NRG a fleet of almost 100 generation assets with a total capacity of approximately 47,000 MW. The company’s assets are concentrated in the East, Gulf Coast, and West.

Last December, NRG abandoned plans to add a 744-MW coal unit to its Limestone Electric Generating Station near Jewett, Texas, saying low natural gas prices had rendered the project uneconomic. NRG noted that the Gregory plant purchase “will expand NRG’s growing cogeneration fleet as it provides NRG with additional cost-effective baseload power in one of the fastest growing states in the nation.”

This story was originally published Apr. 8.
Sources: POWERnews, NRG

Gail Reitenbach, PhD, Managing Editor (@POWERmagazine, @GailReit)