NRG Energy competed its repowering and modernization project at the 550 MW El Segundo Energy Center near Los Angeles. The center retired a less efficient 335 MW steam boiler unit constructed in 1964 that relied on ocean water for cooling.
The new facility will rely on reclaimed water, reducing the use of water at the plant by nearly 90 percent, according to NRG.
The natural gas-fired plant can deliver more than half of its generating capacity in less than 10 minutes and full capacity in less than an hour, which allows it to back up intermittent renewable energy sources.
The El Segundo center will complement California’s increase in renewable energy sources to meet the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard.
California law requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators in the state use 33 percent renewable energy by 2020, according to Power Engineering.
Southern California Edison (SCE) will obtain the entire output of the facility through a 10-year power purchase agreement. SCE recently lost more than 2,000 MW of generating capacity through the unexpected retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.