NRG's California El Segundo natgas power plant enters service

Fri Aug 2, 2013 1:17pm EDT

Aug 2 (Reuters) - U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc said on Friday its 550-megawatt El Segundo natural gas-fired power plant near Los Angeles has entered service.

The combined-cycle plant can generate enough power to supply about 450,000 homes, which is needed in southern California now that local utility Southern California Edison (SCE) has retired its San Onofre nuclear power plant.

NRG Energy said it will sell power from the plant to SCE through a 10-year purchase agreement.

SCE is a unit of Edison International.

The new plant can deliver more than half of its generating capacity in less than 10 minutes and the balance in less than 1 hour, which is needed as California relies more on intermittent renewable technologies like wind and solar that depend on weather conditions.

NRG Energy built the new El Segundo plant at the site of a retired gas-fired steam unit constructed in 1964 that relied on ocean water for cooling.

The new plant relies on reclaimed water for its air-cooled operation, reducing the use of potable water at the site by nearly 90 percent.

During construction, the project created nearly 400 jobs and is expected to increase annual tax revenue in excess of $3 million per year.

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