gas-fired power plant, scheduled to be built in Lee County, Texas

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A natural gas-fired power plant, scheduled to be built in Lee County, Texas , by a Texas-based energy company, will cost 1.2 GW in capacity.

Sandow Lakes Energy Co. in a press release dated Feb. 12 stated that it would occupy a plant on the company-owned land. The plant, the powering of which would be done by two SGT6-9000HL turbines from the Siemens Energy, is scheduled to start up by 2028.

Sandow Lakes, approximately 60 miles east of Austin, was in the past an integrated industrial plant of 1950s that housed Alcoa’s aluminum smelter . Remediation of the site involved 1.2-GW coal-fired power plant by Luminant, a division of Vistra Corp.

Commencement date

The campany will likely to start its construction in 2025. The plant ceased operations in 2018. The coal plant and industrial area n the site are in the process of being partly demolished. The new natural gas-fired power plant is to be part of the repurposing of the location as the Sandow Lakes Ranch master planned development.

As stated by Stan Gerdes, the State Representative, Texas for the district that includes Sandow Lakes, “The folks living here had a beating heart for years witnessing Alcoa, a manufacturing company in their region, shutting down. But like the advent of Sandow Lakes, the folks living here now have a renewed sense of hope for their families and future.”

Reasserting that if there’s private funding for more gas-fired power plants, then the Lt. Dan Patrick will make state funding available, he spoke at Texas Power Grid Investment Summit on February 6.
“If we are unable to initiate incentive program to attract investors to build, then the state ourselves [will end up building more gas-fueled power infrastructure] and let someone [else to run it]” Patrick said. No action can be taken by us so that we can sit idle.

Sandow Lakes Energy pointed out that the Siemens Energy-built turbines “have the ability to use [hydrogen] with only minor modifications to the equipment” and “will provide a reliable source of power to the region [and] support the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.”


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement said, “Power for the state of Texas is very important at this time of growth and power will remain reliable.” This power station at Sandow Lake will be able to produce up to 1200 MW output which is enough to supply hundreds of thousands of homes. The collaboration with our state players such as Sandow Lakes and Siemens will assist us to keep meeting the energy demand of the home of every Texas resident

Texas has been having blackouts due to a power shortage in the recent years which led to a days-long disconnection in power in February 2021 after the winter storm Uri. As per data obtained from the Texas Tribune from the Department of State Health Services, the storm was responsible or attributed to 246 deaths in the state, according to a report. The winter storm of December 2022, which was called ‘ENYA’, also hit the State.

In October of the previous year the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the body that supervises the power grid in Texas, sought bids at least to increase its electric supply by at least 3 GW. The company mentioned that there might also come new generation from the booking or dispatch power units as well as demand response strategies. ERCOT says that dispatchable resources include nuclear, coal, natural gas and biomass either with or without energy storage. Energy from solar or wind power however are not covered by this description. The grid operator said that it was not possible to treat wind and solar energy like other power plants that could produce the required output after receiving instructions from ERCOT.

The grid operator has issued an Operating Condition Notice (OCN) declaration twice in recent years warning participants in the state’s deregulated power market system of the need to put readiness plans in place during emergency conditions. Energy utilities also urge customers to conserve power in times of peak heat or frigid cold. A January OCN was put ready for the anticipated extremely cold; some were issued in last summer when there were periods of extreme heat.

Sandow Lakes Co. in a news release has declared that this organization was established to focus on energy projects in the Texas, development and operation of these projects and investing in the properties within the State. Sandow Lakes Energy Co. LLC’s main goal is to support the Sandow Lakes property and the growing demand in the state through a wide range of clean and efficient technologies.

Democrat State Senator Lois Kolkhorst from the surrounding area of Sandow Lakes stated, “Texas still requires dispatchable thermal generation to ensure service for a growing state, and this is why I am happy with the fact that this new natural gas plant is now located in Lee County.” This is a promising development for the future of our area and just one step towards the much-desired goal of having a new clean and efficient source of energy for the people of Texas.

BloombergNEF estimated on data analysis that about 5.4 GW of new generation will be added to power plants in the state of Texas by 2030, according to a news release by its company.

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