The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) previously issued greenhouse gas (GHG) permit for El Paso Electric’s (EPE) four-unit natural gas-fired Montana Power Station became effective on April 25, 2014 when no appeals were filed prior to the expiration of the appeals period.
EPE may now commence construction of the first two units, which it expects to bring online by the summer peak of 2015.
The issuance of the EPA permit allows EPE to stay on track to effectively meet the growing needs of the communities it serves. EPA’s permit action follows the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s decision in January 2014 to issue a separate permit for emissions other than GHG.
EPA’s permit became effective 30 days after it was issued in March. As previously stated in a statement issued by EPA in response to comments on the GHG permit, EPA “take[s] notice that El Paso Electric Company at its own initiative also undertook special efforts to reach resolution with community members, including reaching an agreement for ongoing community engagement through a citizen advisory panel.”
“We are looking forward to the construction of the first two units of the Montana Power Station, which are due to be online to meet our summer 2015 peak. These units are designed to work in concert with our 107MW of solar energy including 60 additional MW of utility-scale solar to be added in 2014. This combination of clean burning natural gas and solar generation will efficiently provide the power necessary to meet the anticipated growing needs of our region,” said Tom Shockley, EPE’s Chief Executive Officer.
El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to about 394,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. El Paso Electric has a net dependable generating capability of 1,852 MW.