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Lauren wins EPC contract for 348MW Texas peaking power plant

Lauren Engineers & Constructors has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 348MW natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas from Halyard Energy Wharton, a part of Halyard Energy Ventures.

The power project named as Halyard Wharton Energy Center (HWEC) will be a simple-cycle power generating facility. It will be built in Wharton County, within the South Zone of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

The HWEC is slated to begin commercial operations in 2019 with construction to begin this year having received all permits and entitlements. It is expected to complement the substantial and steady growth of renewable resources and load within ERCOT, stated Halyard Energy Ventures.

The HWEC, which will be a natural gas peaking power plant, will feature two F-class combustion turbine generators. It will also have 20MW of battery storage.

In addition to HWEC, Halyard has four more natural-gas peaking projects that are in progress. All the five simple cycle natural gas fired power plant projects will have a total capacity of 2,000MW within ERCOT.

Lauren power executive vice president Jack Shoemate said: “Halyard is ahead of the curve in bringing flexible and efficient peaking capacity to ERCOT.

“We've assembled a team of experts to construct a responsive, reliable, and low-cost project as envisioned by the Halyard team.”

Halyard said that ERCOT's reserve margin has been lowered substantially in the past year owing to the announcement of several significant coal-fired retirements. Following this, the possibility of scarcity pricing events has grown, said the company.

Halyard partner Karl Dahlstrom said: “The energy mix in Texas is trending toward intermittent generation resources as the demand for power continues to increase.  Considering the retirements of baseload facilities, it is clear there is a need for new peaking power.

“Our Wharton plant fills an immediate need for flexible generation and our plan for additional gas-fired plants align with future demands in the market.”