TXU Plans To Build New Coal-Fired Power Plants In Central Texas

(April 20, 2006)—TXU Corp. announced a $10 billion plan to build new power plants in Texas, including new coal-fired facilities in McLennan, Milam, Robertson and Freestone Counties.

The new Central Texas units will be located at the existing Big Brown site in Freestone County, the Sandow site in Milam County, the Oak Grove site in Robertson County and the Lake Creek and Trading House sites in McLennan County, TXU said.

“Texans want ample generation supply, access to lower electric prices, and better air quality, and TXU will deliver all three,” said C. John Wilder, TXU chairman and CEO.

“Our new service offerings and this massive investment in power infrastructure will save consumers money, add reliable electric generating capacity to reduce dependence on high cost natural gas, create jobs, and lower key emissions -- all at the same time.”

The plan involves 11 new generation units at the sites of nine existing plants.

TXU filed air permit applications Thursday with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for eight of the units, construction of which was announced Thursday.

Three other plants were announced earlier.

Click Here To Read The Full TXU Press Release

Proposed New Generation Units
Proposed New Generation Units
(PRB is coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin)

Previously Announced:
Unit Fuel MW County
Oak Grove 1 & 2 Lignite 1,600 Robertson
Sandow 5 Lignite 600 Milam

Announced Thursday 04.20.06
Unit Fuel MW County
Big Brown 3 PRB 800 Freestone
Lake Creek 3 PRB 800 McLennan
Martin Lake 4 PRB 800 Rusk
Monticello 4 PRB 800 Titus
Morgan Creek 7 PRB 800 Mitchell
Tradinghouse 3 & 4 PRB 1,600 McLennan
Valley 4 PRB 800 Fannin

Total 8,600 Megawatts

Gov. Rick Perry praised TXU Thursday, saying the expansion will mean thousands of new jobs.

“In the short term, this expansion will put 40,000 Texans to work during construction of the new facilities, while also creating 21,000 new permanent jobs across the state,” Perry said.

“Much of the company’s $10 billion investment will go towards worker salaries, which not will not only make life better for individual families, but boost our entire economy as those paychecks are cashed and spent.”

Perry said the announcement could not have come at a better time, at the end of the week that started with rolling power blackouts as demand for power exceeded supply as temperatures climbed to record-breaking levels.

TXU says it will “set a new environmental standard,” offsetting emissions from the new units by reducing key emissions at existing facilities by 20 percent.

“This will be the largest voluntary program of its type in the nation, lowering total emissions while simultaneously bringing significant new capacity into the market. If all other plant construction follows this standard,” the company said.

The group, Public Citizen, however, takes issue with the wisdom of building new coal-fired plants.

"TXU is the already the state's largest industrial air polluter, and their smog emissions currently threaten the health of every citizen in the heart of Texas," said Tom "Smitty" Smith of Public Citizen's Texas Office.

“This massive assault on our air quality comes at time when Texas’ environmental regulators say our power plants need to cut smog forming emissions by 70 percent, but TXU is only promising a paltry 20 percent in pollution reduction,” he said.

"These polluting power plants will last 50 years or more, and will keep Texans living under a cloud of pollution long after Governor Perry has waltzed of the political stage."