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Reliant Energy Picks Illinois for Peaking Facility

Reliant Energy Picks Illinois for Peaking Facility

In its latest bid to add generation assets to its growing portfolio, Reliant Energy selected a 125-acre plot of land in McHenry County, IL, last week as the site to develop a 500 MW, gas-fired power plant. The cost of the project was not disclosed. A Reliant spokesperson said the company hopes to have the plant in service by mid-2001.

McHenry County's population grew 30% between 1990 and 1997 and is projected to surpass 300,000 by 2005, making the area attractive for new generation, said Chris Allen, Reliant Energy's Wholesale Group vice president. The site is also attractive because it is located at, what Allen called, an "energy crossroads" where a high-voltage transmission line and a major natural gas pipeline (NGPL) intersect.

The McHenry County plant announcement continues Reliant's generation binge. Reliant Energy spokesperson Sandy Fruhman said as of April 1, 1998, Reliant had no non-regulated generation assets. "Now we have over 3,800 MW in California, a merchant power plant under construction in Nevada, and five power plant projects under development all over the country."

John Norris

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