May 2024

Sugar Land, Texas, Begins Approval Process for $146M 'Rapid Start' Power Plant to Enhance Grid Resilience

Sugar Land, Texas, has approved a land lease to start the process of building a $146M power generation plant with an output capacity of at least 135 megawatts, designed to restore lost power within minutes, regardless of weather.

Facilitated by Sugar Land Economic Development and Tourism (SLOEDT), the development will be located within an approximate 100-acre mixed-use business park at 1 Circle Drive, with direct proximity to Highway 6 and Highway 90A.

"We must take action now to prevent the kind of devastating impacts we've seen from various weather disasters, one example being Winter Storm Uri in 2021," said Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman. "We are committed to building a resilient and dependable power infrastructure here in Sugar Land. This initiative not only ensures a critical resource for our community, but it will also make it easier for us to attract premier business partners, fostering long-term economic growth."

Once completed, the plant will use natural gas to provide sustainable power to the Texas grid. In the event of a grid failure, weather-resistant engines will be able to restore power within five minutes. The plant will provide electricity without relying on external grids, even during a complete blackout.

"We plan to construct the plant with highly efficient engines that are capable of producing power independently, even during extremely low or high temperatures," said SLOEDT Assistant Director Alba Penate-Johnson. "These aspects align with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas goals (ERCOT), which operates Texas's electrical grid."

Currently, project leaders are selecting development partners who will enter into a long-term ground lease agreement once the deal is facilitated. Construction partners and land use permits are also being announced later this year. Upon completion, the power plant is expected to bring various economic benefits, including new jobs and increased revenues for the city.

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