Oct. 17–Calpine Corporation the San Jose, Calif.-based independent power producer, announced today that its Corpus Christi Energy Center in Corpus Christi, Texas has entered operations. The modern electric-generating facility can produce more than 500 megawatts of electricity and in excess of 1.4 million pounds of steam per hour.

With major manufacturers requiring a continuous source of electricity and steam to power their operations, the Corpus Christi facility, like Calpine’s other cogeneration plants, has multiple-level reliability systems in place to ensure uninterrupted service.

Under the terms of a 20-year power and steam sales agreement, Citgo Refining Company will purchase up to 60 MW of power and 750,000 pounds of steam per hour. Elementis Chromium will purchase 140,000 pounds of steam per hour for 10 years under a separate agreement. The remainder of the power will be sold in the Texas wholesale market.

“As the largest independent power producer in Texas, Calpine is able to access our fully integrated fleet of natural gas-fired power plants to meet our customers’ energy requirements, while at the same time helping advance air quality goals,” stated Calpine Senior Vice President Diana Knox. “Texas power consumers and the environment benefit from a new source of clean, fuel-efficient power generation. And industrial customers, like Citgo Refining and Elementis Chromium, benefit from a customized energy center, like Corpus Christi, designed to meet their unique electricity and steam load specifications.”

The Corpus Christi facility is the newest addition to Calpine’s 6,000-megawatt Texas power portfolio. The company currently owns interest in and operates ten energy centers, six of which are cogeneration facilities serving industrial customers including, Dow, Bayer, Hoescht Celanese, Lyondell Citgo and Chevron Phillips Chemical. Over the past 12 months, Calpine’s Texas energy centers have operated with an average availability factor of approximately 91 percent.

As a cogeneration facility, the Corpus Christi Energy Center generates electricity using two natural gas-fired combustion turbines in combination with one steam turbine to generate two types of energy — electricity and steam — for industrial processing. This fuel-efficient technology, along with advanced emissions control systems, allows Calpine to significantly reduce emissions and lower energy prices.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s data, Calpine’s fleet of new combined-cycle facilities consistently outperforms the average Texas fossil-fueled power plant in curbing emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone, greenhouse gases and acid rain. Compared to the average Texas fossil-fueled power plant, Calpine’s Corpus Christi facility generates 88 percent less nitrogen oxide, 50 percent less carbon dioxide, and nearly 100 percent less sulfur dixoide emissions.

In addition to helping promote higher air quality standards for electric power generation, Calpine’s Texas power plants can generate enough electricity annually to power 4.1 million homes, while at the same time conserving natural gas resources. Using combined-cycle technology, each Calpine facility consumes 33 percent less fuel than the average Texas fossil-fueled power plant. For Calpine’s entire Texas portfolio, this fuel savings is equal to enough natural gas to serve an additional 2.8 million homes annually. Calpine’s proactive standards for efficient electric power generation demonstrate a sound environmental philosophy for safeguarding Texas communities, resources and industry.