- Exelon Generation will invest more than $500 million for two new combined cycle natural gas plants at separate existing sites. Each plant will feature two natural gas turbines and one steam turbine. They represent 2,000 megawatts of new fossil generation and bring Exelon’s total Texas generating capacity to nearly 6,000 megawatts.
- The General Electric H-class turbines and the Alstom recovered heat steam generators will, according to GE, provide $8 million-plus in fuel savings annually and will be air-cooled instead of water-cooled, a crucial feature in drought-ridden Texas.
- In announcing that construction will start in 2015 and that both plants will be in service by 2017, Exelon Generation CEO/President Ken Cornew called the new capacity part of “a clean-energy future… which uses little water and produces few emissions while generating electricity at a very low cost.”
This move away from coal and nuclear power makes it clear that, despite Exelon's campaign for nuclear subsidies, it understands that the future for utilities lies in gas and renewables. Across the country, utilities are replacing coal and nuclear capacity with gas plants, gas pipelines and renewables.
Exelon Generation currently has six generating stations in Texas with a combined output of about 3,700 megawatts and wind farms generating an additional 281 megawatts.
This will be the first U.S. installation of the new GE turbines and highlights the $16.8 billion acquisition of Alstom by GE earlier this year.
Exelon’s new plants will be built at its Wolf Hollow site southwest of Fort Worth, and its Colorado Bend plant southwest of Houston.