Rio Grande 9 is a simple-cycle aeroderivative gas turbine. The $75 million addition is expected to generate 88 to 95 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 37,000 homes.
The aeroderivative technology will be 28% more fuel efficient than existing units. It will also provide quick start and rapid load following capabilities going from offline to fully loaded in less than 10 minutes with load following up to 50 megawatts per minute. This flexibility will assist in increasing grid stability.
Construction on Unit 9 will begin in January 2012 and is expected to be completed in May 2013.
Existing Rio Grande Generating Station Information
The Rio Grande Power was completed in November 1929. Over its 83-year history, the power station, which was originally built to meet the needs of a population totaling 162,000, has undergone various expansions and upgrades. Today, the power station generates a nominal combined 250 MWs from three units. The fuel for converting water into steam is primarily natural gas. The cooling water supply source has changed from inlet water systems from the canals to well water supply sources. The plant is located in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The plant is bordered by El Paso, Texas on the East side, the Rio Grande River on the South side, and Sunland Park, New Mexico on the West and North sides.