Reliant Energy announced plans to construct a 340 MW peakingplant in Shelby County, IL, last week. The company has signed anoption agreement on an 80-acre parcel of land about 20 milessoutheast of Shelbyville, IL, near the town of Neoga.

The $185 million to $190 million plant, known as Reliant EnergyShelby County L.P., will consist of eight 45 MW, natural gasturbines. If all the required permits are obtained on the currenttime schedule, construction could begin in January with operationbeginning in the summer of 2000.

“Because there is a set of smaller turbines, we’re able to buildthem faster, making operation for next summer possible,” said PatHammond, a Reliant Energy spokeswoman.

The plant is expected to consume 86.4 dth/d when running at peakcapabilities, which is expected to occur at least 80 days per year,Hammond said. She added that Reliant is attempting to work out agas supply contract with CMS Trunkline Co. for the facility.

The Shelby County Zoning Board of Appeals already hasrecommended approval of Reliant Energy’s request to rezone the sitefor use as a peaking facility. The Shelby County PlanningCommission will also hear the request, and the project must beapproved by the Shelby County Board. If approved, this would markReliant’s second peaking facility project in Illinois this year.Last April, Reliant announced plans to build a 500 MW peaking plantin McHenry County, IL (see Daily GPI, April 28).

“Reliant Energy Shelby County is a perfect fit in our strategyof developing our asset-backed trading and marketing presence inthe Midwest,” said Joe Bob Perkins, president of the Reliant EnergyWholesale Group. “This region has a critical need for peakingcapacity and our project is designed to meet that need with thecleanest, most efficient technology available.”

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