TRANSMISSION PROJECT NO FACTOR IN IDLING HOUSTON-AREA PLANT: CALPINE
Calpine plans to suspend operations on February 22, 2016 at its 91-MW cogeneration facility near Houston, but a major transmission project on which state regulators are to decide Thursday was not a factor, a spokesman said.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas on November 24 issued a notice to stakeholders about Calpine’s plan to mothball the natural gas-fired plant in the Houston suburb of Clear Lake. Comments on the proposal are due on December 8. ERCOT has 90 days to decide whether to engage the plant for ancillary services on a reliability-must-run basis.
“There were costly repairs needed for the turbine, and current market conditions do not warrant a return to service,” Calpine spokesman Brett Kerr said in a Thanksgiving Day email.
The Houston Import Project, which has support from ERCOT and the staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, did not affect Calpine’s decision to suspend operations at the plant, which started operating in January 1985, Kerr said.
The Houston Import Project is a 345-kV line that would connect a substation in the southeastern part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ North Hub to a substation in northwest Harris County in ERCOT’s Houston Hub.