Houston-based Calpine Corp. is planning new natural gas power plants in Texas as state officials move to bolster the grid with fossil-fuel generation.
Calpine’s initial project will be a 425-megawatt gas unit next to an existing facility in Freestone County, the company said Wednesday. Other projects include additional gas plants and installing equipment to capture carbon dioxide emissions at some facilities.
It expects the Freestone County plant to be operational before summer 2026. It also has started the permitting process for a second 425-megawatt gas unit next to an existing facility in Guadalupe County.
The moves mark a reversal for Calpine after development of gas plants slowed in Texas amid a swell of lower-cost wind and solar projects.
State officials and grid operators have expressed concern that there isn’t enough fossil-fuel generation to back up weather-dependent renewables. Texas moved to overhaul its power market after a 2021 winter freeze caused catastrophic blackouts that crippled the state and killed more than 200 people.
Calpine said it supported market-based regulatory changes proposed by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. The company is opposed to recent grid-reliability plans including direct state purchase of generation and ownership of power plants by regulated utilities.
Mark Chediak, Bloomberg News