Texas Utility Will Add More Peaking Power


The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) said it will build a new 190-MW peaker power plant in central Texas to provide additional dispatchable power to the state’s electric grid. A peaker plant is one that is typically used only for brief periods during times when the demand for power approaches or surpasses the amount of power available. For more, read Texas Utility Will Add More Peaking Power.

Key Takeaways

  • The new plant will be LCRA’s second peaker plant. The first is a 184-MW natural gas-fired facility in Fayette County that was built in 2010.
  • The new facility will have 10 Wartsila 50SG natural gas-fueled reciprocating engines. It is expected to become fully operational in 2025.
  • The new dispatchable peaker plant will support the state’s power grid within minutes, providing a reliable source of power to customers.
  • The LCRA plant is one of several new engine power plants that Wartsila has announced in the Americas. 
    • Engines are becoming more prominent in the American power grids due to their grid balancing and flexible generation capabilities.

Path to 100% Perspective

The energy sector is in the midst of a rapid transformation where flexibility is becoming more important. Flexible engine power plants are a good way to ensure that the lights never go out and decarbonization goals are met, even in extreme weather conditions like those facing Texas in recent years. Flexible thermal balancing power plants, like the LCRA peaker plant, provide firm and dispatchable capacity, ensuring that backup power is available when adverse weather conditions don’t generate enough electricity. These plants also support the integration of renewables, making them an important player in reaching a 100% renewable energy future. Wartsila’s engines can already run on multiple fuels and are ready to be converted to new carbon-neutral or carbon-free fuels when they become commercially available.