Amarillo, Texas, April 30, 2010 – Anticipating future electric load growth, Xcel Energy is seeking approval to add a new, 168-MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine at its Jones Generating Station near Lubbock.
Xcel Energy, through its Amarillo-based subsidiary, Southwestern Public Service Co., filed an application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity at the Public Utility Commission of Texas, opening a process to prove the merits of installing another generator in the SPS service area.
Jones Station, located southeast of Lubbock, is a natural gas-fueled, steam-electric generating station with two operating units – Jones Unit 1 completed in 1971 and Jones Unit 2 completed in 1974.
The power plant currently has a generating capacity of 486 MW. Pending regulatory approval, Xcel Energy plans to build Jones Unit 3 by 2012, equipped with a Siemens Energy gas combustion turbine with a summer capacity rating of about 168 MW. The project will cost about $116 million.
Initially, Xcel Energy expects to use the additional power to help meet summer demand, traditionally higher than any other period of the year.
“Our regional oil and gas industries have expanded even as the national economy slumped, and we know that these and other industries are planning more development and more jobs over the next few years,” said Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company. “We want to prepare for this anticipated growth with additional resources that are clean, reliable and cost-effective.”
“Another benefit is the new turbine will help us respond more quickly to changes in the region’s growing wind generation output. This type of technology makes sense at this time,” Hill added.
Xcel Energy’s Texas and New Mexico service area covers more than 50,000 square miles, including most of the Texas Panhandle, the Texas South Plains region, and eastern and southeastern New Mexico. Peak electricity demand in this region is currently about 5,000 MW.
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Xcel Energy’s headquarters are located in Minneapolis.