NRG Energy said last week it expects to return to service an inactive Texas gas plant in time for summer, giving ERCOT additional capacity to play with.
ERCOT enters summer with a historically low reserve margin of 7.4%. The 385-MW Gregory plant will give the grid operator much needed extra capacity.
Gregory, located just outside Corpus Christi, was shut down in late 2016 when its cogeneration partner, Sherwin Alumina, filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. It is expected to return to service as a combined cycle facility in early June.
In a statement released after NRG’s first-quarter earnings call Thursday, CEO Mauricio Gutierrez said the Texas Public Utility Commission’s recent actions to strengthen the ERCOT market “reinforced our decision to return Gregory to service ahead of summer.” (See related story, NRG Energy Earnings Drop on ERCOT Hedges.)
The PUC in recent months has worked to improve coordination between electric utilities and pipeline companies and ordered tweaks to ERCOT’s operating reserve demand curve price adder.
ERCOT will release its final resource adequacy assessment for the summer on Wednesday.
— Tom Kleckner