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Say goodbye to another Texas coal-fired power plant

By: Chron.com |

Gibbons Creek Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant about 20 miles from Bryan, was already in mothball status, putting the state’s grid operator on notice earlier this year that it wouldn’t be running this summer. Now it’s closing for good.

The state’s grid manager the Electric Reliability Council of Texas received notice from the City of Garland that the 470-megawatt plant would be retired permanently on Oct. 23. The Texas Municipal Power Agency, a group comprising the cities of Bryan, Garland, Denton and Greenville, owns the plant.

The City of Garland could not be immediately reached for comment.

The news that the plant was going into hibernation over the summer brought the state’s cushion of reserve electricity down to an historic low of 7.4 percent, just over half of ERCOT’s reserve margin goal of 13.75 percent. ERCOT boosted the reserve margin to 8.6 percent in May after uncovering new power sources.

The closure of Gibbons Creek comes on the heels of the shutdown last year of three coal plants with a combined generation capacity of more than 4,000 megawatts — enough to power at least 800,000 Texas homes — by Vistra Energy of Irving.