New Power Plant Planned for East El Paso County

April 20, 2012

El Paso Electric is pleased to announce its next investment to prepare for the region’s economic growth and to meet our customers’ growing demands for electricity in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The investment is a new power plant located in east El Paso. The plant will be located adjacent to Montana Avenue, just east of Zaragoza Avenue.

The new facility will consist of two state-of-the-art 88 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle aero-derivative combustion turbines, which will be powered by natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel available.  The aero-derivative technology is more efficient, utilizes less water, and provides quick start capabilities which will assist in increasing the power grid stability. When completed, the power plant will generate enough power to provide electricity to 80,000 homes.

“This investment ensures that El Paso Electric has the electric generation capacity to meet our region’s growing needs for reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible electric service,” said Tom Shockley, interim-CEO. “Technology was chosen to specifically meet our customers’ electric usage during peak times and adapt to the increased use of solar generation by the Company and our customers."

El Paso Electric is in the process of filing for the necessary regulatory approvals with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Once the permits are approved, construction at the site will occur during 2013-14, with the first unit scheduled to become operational in 2014.