Generating public power for Central Texas
LCRA maintains a diverse generation portfolio of power from coal, natural gas, wind, and water to provide 43 wholesale electric customers with reliable, reasonably priced electric power in a market affected by increasingly volatile fuel costs.
This approach helps minimize dependence on any one fuel and the challenges associated with that fuel, whether those risks relate to environmental concerns or costs. Currently, about 46 percent of LCRA’s power is generated from coal, 50 percent from natural gas, and 4 percent from renewable sources.
Here is a snapshot of LCRA generating facilities and resources:
- Fayette Power Project (FPP), a three-unit coal-fired power plant near La Grange, provides 1,035 MW for LCRA. (Austin Energy co-owns two of the FPP units and the power they produce.)
- Sim Gideon Power Plant, a three-unit gas plant in Bastrop County, provides 608 MW.
- Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant, a single-unit gas-fired plant in Marble Falls, provides 420 MW.
- LCRA affiliate GenTex Power Corporation owns Lost Pines 1 Power Project, a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Bastrop County. This plant provides 511 MW of generating capacity for Texas consumers.
- Winchester Power Park, a four-unit, gas-fired “peaking” facility in Fayette County can generate up to 176 MW of power during peak demand periods.
- Six hydroelectric dams operated by LCRA provide 295.1 MW of renewable energy.
- LCRA purchases 116 MW from West Texas wind power facilities under long-term contracts. LCRA in November 2010 began purchasing an additional 200 MW from a new wind power facility, Papalote Creek II Wind Farm, near the Texas Gulf Coast.
- Additional long- and short-term purchases from other ERCOT suppliers round out the energy mix LCRA provides its wholesale electric customers.
Fuel and transportation operations
LCRA uses coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming to fuel the Fayette Power Project. This coal is shipped on the 1,480 railcars maintained by LCRA's Smithville Rail Fleet Maintenance Facility.
The Hilbig Gas Storage Facility in Rockne, which is in Bastrop County, enables LCRA to store 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas for its gas-fired plants.
The Center Union Gas Compression Station in Bastrop County measures, compresses and transfers natural gas to LCRA’s gas-fired facilities in Bastrop and Fayette counties.
See map of energy facilities.
In 2010, about 46 percent of LCRA’s power was generated from coal, 50 percent from natural gas and 4 percent from hydroelectricity and wind energy.
LCRA’s 43 wholesale electric customers serve more than 1.1 million people in one of the nation’s fastest growing regions.
LCRA continues to evaluate all fuel sources as it makes plans to meet future needs for power.
More wind: LCRA in November 2010 began purchasing an additional 200 MW of wind power — enough to nearly triple its current capacity for clean, renewable power from wind.
New coal: LCRA in June 2008 signed an agreement to buy 200 MW from the Sandy Creek Energy Station. The coal-fired facility under construction in McLennan County will be among the cleanest coal plants currently operating in Texas.
LCRA has a history of operating all of its generation units in an environmentally responsible manner, generally keeping emissions well below those allowed by law.