San Antonio’s CPS Energy, the country’s largest municipally owned natural gas and power utility, will announce this week that it is buying the Rio Nogales 800 MW gas-fired power plant in Seguin, TX, a spokesperson told NGI.

The 10-year-old gas-fired plant is slated to replace two coal-fired units in the utility’s fleet. Combined, the 34-year-old coal-fired units generate about 870 MW. The utility previously announced plans to retire by 2018 its 871 MW JT Deely coal-fired plant to avoid the need to invest $3 billion in environmental controls to comply with federal emissions rules (see Daily GPI, June 24, 2011).

The utility said it would be buying natural gas to fuel the plant from the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.

According to the CPS Energy website, coal comprises almost 47% of the utility’s daily generation mix, followed by nuclear energy at 32%. Renewable energy, including wind, solar and methane gas from landfills, account for 9%, while natural gas and purchased power comprise the remaining 12%.

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