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Rapid-Start Power Plant Project

The city of Sugar Land is planning a rapid start power plant that will meet all the requirements and timelines set by the Public Utility Commission (PUC), Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Federal Aviation Administration and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). This facility will provide at least 100 MW of dispatchable power generation. Its goal is to deliver clean and sustainable power to the Texas grid, enhancing grid resiliency in Texas and the surrounding region.

Additionally, the City is considering a revenue-sharing agreement with the developer. This agreement would allow the City to reinvest in infrastructure, maintenance, and economic development opportunities.

Rendering of the proposed Sugar Land power plant project. The stacks depicted in the rendering will be 60-100 feet tall and not visible from Highway 90A.


Where will the plant be located?

The development will be located on an 8-acre parcel within the City’s planned 100-acre industrial park (Central Prison Unit Site). This city-owned property has direct access to Highway 6, Highway 90A, and future access to FM1464. The site is also adjacent to the Sugar Land Regional Airport.

How will the plant function?

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

The use of highly efficient engines supports the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) objectives of maintaining a stable and efficient power supply for ancillary services. Ancillary services are purchased by ERCOT in the day-ahead market to balance the next day's supply and demand of electricity on the grid and mitigate real-time operational issues. Ancillary services can be provided by generators or consumers to increase or decrease the supply of electricity in a matter of minutes or even seconds. More info here.

When will the power plant be complete and online?

Late 2027-early 2028.

Who will be directly connected to the power plant?

The power plant will be connected to the ERCOT grid and become part of its operations. 

Who is financing the project?

This is a public-private partnership project, and project financing is still being negotiated at this time.

Project Status


  • The City released an Request for Statements of Interest (RSI) on February 21st soliciting Statements of Interest for the planning, development, design, permitting, construction, operation, maintenance, and sustainment of a rapid start up power generation project to be located on City owned property.

  • The RSI closed on March 20th.


  • The City approved a ground lease option agreement on May 21 with Wärtsilä Development and Financials Services, Inc. to grant site access to facilitate surveys, soil boring and analysis, and a Full Interconnection Study (FIS) Application was submitted to ERCOT.

  • The critical assessment confirmed all the requirements and permits needed to build the power plant per regulatory entities, including TCEQ, Army Corp, Fort Bend County, and the State of Texas. The following permits are required:

    • Air Quality Permit

    • Water Resources Permit

    • Endangered Species Permit

    • Cultural and Antiquities Permit

    • A Notice of Intent to apply for Texas Energy Funding [submitted in June]

Upcoming Milestones

  • The City will begin negotiations on a Long Term Ground Lease and Profit Sharing Agreement to support reinvestment in the city's infrastructure and economic development.

  • Engineering Preliminary Design to be delivered.

  • Answer from Texas Energy Fund on application results.

  • Full Interconnection Studies with CenterPoint Energy completed.

  • Permit Studies delivered.

  • Begin construction and civil engineering work.

  • Power Plant delivered.

Assistant Director of Economic Development Alba Penate-Johnson provides an update on the project.

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