Arizona’s first “dry” merchant power plant

Reliant Energy Wholesale Group, a unit of Reliant Resources, has announced plans to build a combined-cycle generating facility in Arizona near its recently completed Desert Basin facility in Pinal County. Phase I, scheduled for commercial operation in 2004, will include two natural gas-powered turbines and one steam-powered turbine and will have a total capacity of 580mw. Named Signal Peak after a nearby landmark, the plant will be Arizona’s first “dry” merchant power generating facility. Reliant Energy Signal Peak will use an innovative air-cooled condenser, a technology that drastically reduces water use to only about 300 acre-feet per year, less than a tenth of the water used for natural gas-powered generating facilities with conventional cooling towers. Phase II of the Signal Peak project, which would be the same size and use the same equipment, is scheduled for commercial operation in 2009, contingent upon the region’s need for power.

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