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Governor Abbott Joins Calpine for Announcement on Texas Power Investment



(HOUSTON, Texas) – December 14, 2023 – Texas Governor Greg Abbott and ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas visited Calpine’s headquarters in Houston today to celebrate the company’s latest investment in the Texas grid. During the event, Calpine CEO Thad Hill announced Calpine’s decision to proceed with advanced development and construction of a new power plant in Freestone County. The investment contributes directly to the goals of Texas officials, who recently established new market-based mechanisms to boost generation of reliable power.

Hill said the company’s new 425-megawatt simple-cycle gas-fired power plant will be built adjacent to Calpine’s existing Freestone Energy Center, a 1,063-megawatt combined-cycle plant. The new facility will be operational before the summer of 2026.

“Texas has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years. With this new economic activity, we also have greater demand for reliable and affordable energy. Meeting those needs is one of our highest priorities at Calpine,” said Hill. Hill went on to say, “We are thankful that our state leaders appreciate and recognize the benefits of a successful competitive market and we have great confidence in the ability of the Texas PUC and ERCOT to administer and implement the market improvements currently before them. Competitive markets yield better outcomes than central planning and we believe all Texans stand to benefit from their good work.”

“The bottom line is Texans need more electrical power,” said Governor Abbott. “We have a collective responsibility to make sure that we provide the power and electricity to support our growing state by adding new, reliable power plants like this one from Calpine. ERCOT, PUC and power generators are better prepared this winter than ever before because I signed over a dozen laws to ensure they have the tools and strategies needed to generate more power and make our grid more reliable and resilient. This Freestone Energy Center expansion will ensure that reliable power is available in Texas no matter the weather, and I thank Calpine for choosing to expand their Freestone County facility."

Chairman of the Texas House State Affairs committee Todd Hunter had this to say, “I am happy to see Calpine respond to the signals that the legislature sent regarding the need for affordable and reliable energy. I am encouraged by their efforts and look forward to more announcements from other market participants.”

Under the state’s latest market reforms, Calpine also discussed plans that are already in the pipeline at various stages of development in Texas as well as other projects across their fleet including battery storage, geothermal, carbon capture and gas plants.





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