San Marcos to partner LCRA in new 540 MW Ferguson power plant project

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The city of San Marcos will participate as a financial partner in the new 540 MW power plant at Horseshoe Bay that the Lower Colorado River Authority is constructing to replace its aging Thomas C. Ferguson electric power generating plant, following the approval of an agreement by the City Council recently. The LCRA Board of Directors approved the agreement on January 16.


LCRA is replacing a 37-year-old 420-MW facility at its current location at Horseshoe Bay on Lake LBJ. The plant will be a combined cycle plant, which uses a gas turbine system and a steam cycle system to generate electricity. A combined cycle power plant uses about 35 percent less fuel than a traditional natural gas-fired plant.

The city has an interest of 3.52 percent in the power plant’s capacity and energy production, and will pay 3.52 percent of the project’s costs, based on the percentage of LCRA’s electric load used by the San Marcos community,  said Tom Taggart, Executive Director of Public Services.

The city is responsible for 3.52 percent of the approximately $500 million project costs and expenses, estimated at approximately $18 million. The City Council’s vote follows its approval of a letter of intent in August 2012 that authorized staff to negotiate the terms of participation with LCRA.

LCRA has contracted with Fluor Corporation for the Ferguson plant replacement project and broke ground in April 2012. The plant is scheduled to be on-line in 2014. The old plant on the site will be decommissioned after the new plant is completed.