Sempra Generation last Tuesday announced plans to develop and construct a 600 MW expansion of its Twin Oaks Power plant near Bremond, TX, tripling the plant’s 305 MW total capacity to 900 MW.

The announcement coincides with the filing of an air-permit application the company recently submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). This filing began the process of securing the required state and federal regulatory approvals for the expansion project. The expansion involves the construction of a third power-producing unit at a cost of $750 million to $800 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2007, with commercial start-up of the new generating unit slated for 2011.

The existing power plant’s units have been operational since early 1991 and are fueled by lignite coal from a nearby mine. The new unit will be permitted to utilize either Texas lignite coal or coal delivered by rail.

Located in Robertson County, Twin Oaks Power is about 100 miles east of Austin, 150 miles south of Dallas and 160 miles north of Houston. Electricity from the plant will continue to be sold to wholesale electric customers served from the state’s electricity grid, which is administered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

The air-quality permit review, comment and approval process is expected to continue for one to two years. The start of construction depends upon the execution of contracts for the plant’s expanded output.

Sempra Generation acquired Twin Oaks Power, formerly known as TNP One, from Texas-New Mexico Power Co. in November 2002.

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