New generating station brings new jobs

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

By Randy Strong

The Orange Leader

Jim Malain who took over the role of  Entergy Customer Service Manager  for Orange County after Johnny Trahan’s retirement from the position reached out to the City of West Orange at Monday’s council meeting for support of Entergy Texas, Inc.’s proposal to build a 993-megawatt

gas-fired generating  station.

Construction of the Montgomery County Power Station (MCPS) will generate $1 billion in economic activity in Texas.

Malain said an economic study from TXP Inc. shows the construction will result in $410 million in direct investment in the area, and generate $300 million in worker earnings and $7,000 supported jobs directly and indirectly.

MCPS will create 700 onsite construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs and will be built  with the environment in mind using state of the art emission control technology.

Natural gas produced here in Texas will supply the plant with reliable and affordable fuel and the new plant will use high efficiency combined cycle gas turbines that will result in lower emissions compared to the existing generation fleet.

“We need to act now” Malain said. “Our region is growing and our infrastructure is aging. Without action we would be facing a shortfall of 700 megawatts in just a few years”.

The idea is to lower costs over the long run while also reducing emissions compared to dirtier coal plants and more outdated gas facilities.

While about 90 percent of Texas power grid operates as an island, the region controlled by Entergy receives power from outside states and operates as part of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator grid that stretches through the middle of the country from Entergy Texas up to Minnesota. Entergy Texas is based in The Woodlands, but it’s a subsidiary of the New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.

Although it’s been debated for years, the Entergy region opted out of Texas deregulation more than a decade ago because of a perceived lack of retail electricity competition.

The proposed Montgomery County plant would be built north of Conroe and just west of Willis near Entergy’s existing footprint by the Lewis Creek Reservoir, according to a press release.