Reliant Energy announces plans for power plant in Casa Grande

Aug 31, 2001 02:00 AM

Houston-based Reliant Energy announced plans for a $ 740 mm power plant in Casa Grande, the latest in a string of more than 20 new power plants announced in Arizona. Reliant's will be the first to employ a new "dry" cooling technology that requires less than 10 % of the water used in conventional gas-fired power plants, Reliant officials said.
The plant would generate 1,160 MW of electricity, enough to light about 700,000 homes, and would be located near the 600-MW plant Reliant completed near Casa Grande this summer. Salt River Project has agreed to buy all the output from the 600-MW plant for 10 years, but the utility would not say whether it also would buy power from the new plant.

The plant will use air-cooled condensers, instead of conventional cooling towers, and what water it does use will come from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project canal. The announcement has environmentalists wondering why state regulators haven't insisted that other recently approved or planned plants use the new technology.
"It's required in some parts of California," said Tim Hogan, whose Arizona Centre for Law in the Public Interest has asked regulators to approve only those plants that are needed to serve Arizona. The huge water demand of the new conventional power plants -- 10,000 acre-feet a year for the proposed 2,000-MW Toltec plant near Eloy, for example -- is a growing concern among environmentalists and state regulators. It is the central issue being debated at hearings on the Toltec project and the proposed Big Sandy power plant near Wikieup.

Source: The Arizona Central
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