EP Electric’s $380M power plant completed
El Paso Electric officials on Thursday celebrated the completion of the company’s new, $380 million Montana Power Station in far East El Paso County.
The plant’s four natural-gas powered generating units have been phased in since March 2015. The last unit began supplying power Thursday as company officials held a grand-opening event at the plant located at Zaragoza and Montana.
“As customer demand continues to grow, the peaking capability and quick-starting technology of these units will allow EPE to meet our customers’ energy‐demand fluctuations in an efficient and cost‐effective manner,” Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric chief executive officer, said in a statement released after the grand-opening ceremony.
“Additionally, these new units are 20 percent to 37 percent more efficient than older conventional steam units, which helps keep El Paso Electric’s carbon footprint low.”
The cost of the power plant is one reason the company had to increase electric rates this year. And it expects to apply for additional rate increases in El Paso and the Las Cruces area in early 2017, to pay for the remaining costs of the plant and for other improvements, company officials reported.
The new power plant will provide electricity for more than 160,000 homes, company officials reported.