Houston Industries Inks AZ Power Deal
Houston Industries' Wholesale Energy Group (HI) continued to
entrench itself into the western energy market by agreeing with the
city of Casa Grande, AZ, to build a new 500 MW natural gas-fired
power plant. The plant will cost $263 million, and upon completion
HI will arrange for the supply of gas and sell the electricity
produced from the plant.
The project, named Desert Basin Generating, will provide
competitively priced electricity to wholesale markets and to large
end-users in Arizona and other parts of the western U.S. The
facility will be located 50 miles southeast of Phoenix. It also
will supply steam to Abbott Laboratories, a neighboring
manufacturing facility. HI said that gas will be transported by El
Paso Natural Gas, which is just three miles away from the plant.
The company expects to use 80-90,000 MMBtu/d to power the facility.
"This project will enhance our successful California generation and
trading operations and reinforce our leading position in this
rapidly evolving industry," said Joe Bob Perkins, president and
chief operating officer of HI Wholesale Energy Group.
In the past year, HI has aggressively pursued the California
market. HI Power Generation, which has since become HI Wholesale
Energy Group, bought five generation plants from Southern
California Edison (SCE), a utility divesting assets in accordance
with the state's restructuring plan. These plants account for 3,800
MW of operational electricity in California, according to an HI
Overall, HI Wholesale Energy owns 17,800 MW of electric
generation capacity, 8,200 miles of gas pipeline, and 4,000 miles
of gathering lines. It trades 4 Bcf/d of gas and produces 80
million MW-hours of electricity annually.
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