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Brownsville Leaders Tour Hidalgo Energy Center

Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) leadership, along with Mayor John Cowen, recently toured the Hidalgo Energy Center. This visit comes at a pivotal time as the plant undergoes its first major overhaul, a comprehensive 90-day project initiated after five years of planning.

The Hidalgo Energy Center, crucial for Brownsville’s energy stability, is undergoing extensive upgrades to improve its operational reliability. As a vital component of BPUB’s energy portfolio, owning a 21 percent stake, the plant’s enhancements are key to ensuring a consistent economic energy supply for the city. This project, spearheaded by General Electric, includes upgrades to the generator and turbine control systems, representing a significant investment in the plant’s future.

Operated by Calpine, which holds a 78.5 percent controlling interest, the 477-megawatt facility in Edinburg participates in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market.

To facilitate the tour while adhering to the Texas Open Meetings Act, BPUB organized the visits in two groups. The first group, which toured on April 17, included BPUB General Manager & CEO Marilyn Gilbert, Vice Chair Joseph Hollman, board members Daisy Zamora and Alejandro Najera, and ex-officio member Mayor John Cowen. The second tour concluded on May 8 and featured BPUB Chairman Art Rendon and members Patricio Sampayo and Gerardo Martinez. This approach ensured comprehensive board engagement and compliance with state regulations.

The tours offered BPUB leaders a look at the ongoing upgrades, highlighting the technical advancements and the project’s progress. This insight is essential for BPUB as it continues to make informed decisions regarding its infrastructure and energy procurement strategies.

Cowen expressed his enthusiasm about the tour, saying, “The visit to the Hidalgo Energy Center has provided us with critical insights that will be instrumental in meeting the growing energy needs of Brownsville.”

This proactive engagement by BPUB leadership highlights their commitment to overseeing and understanding the operations of key facilities within their energy portfolio, ensuring the reliability and sustainability of Brownsville’s energy supply.

For further details on the Brownsville Public Utilities Board and its initiatives, please visit our website at