San Jose-based Calpine Corp. and Kansas City-based Aquila Inc. announced that the Aries Power Project near Pleasant Hill, MO, has begun simple-cycle operations. The 320 MW gas-fired facility will serve the growing electricity demand in the region.

The combined-cycle facility was brought online in simple-cycle operation to respond to peak summer demand. On Oct. 1, the plant will temporarily shut down so that a steam turbine can be added to the configuration. Calpine said it expects the plant to restart operation as a combined-cycle plant by January 2002. In completed form, the plant will generate 600 MW of power for Missouri and surrounding areas.

Under the joint venture, Calpine is responsible for operations and maintenance and Aquila is responsible for commercial optimization and power sales. Currently, the entire output of the simple-cycle plant is being sold to Missouri Public Service, which like Aquila, is also owned by UtiliCorp United. Once the plant adds the steam turbine, additional power will be sold into the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

“As a result of this collaborative effort, the Aries Power Project will provide clean, reliable power for years to come,” said Bob Bingham, Calpine’s plant manager. “The geographic location of this new facility enables us to meet the increasing power demands of Missouri and the SPP with the most innovative and reliable technology available.”

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