Electrical System


BPUB meets and exceeds the city's growing power demand with its diverse electric system, consisting of electricity generated at three power plants, additional power produced by distributive generation and active participation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market. This variety of power sources allows BPUB to manage fuel and energy costs better.

Silas Ray Power Plant
Silas Ray currently consists of three units at the plant site initially commissioned in 1947 and located in West Brownsville, Texas. Unit 6 is a steam turbine online in 1961. The steam is fed from a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) attached to Unit 9, a Westinghouse W251B12A gas turbine. Unit 9 went online in 1997 and can be run in bypass or combined cycle modes. Unit 10 is an LM6000 aero-derivative brought online in 2004.

Hidalgo Energy Center
BPUB is a 21% owner (105 MW) of Hidalgo Energy Center in Edinburg, Texas. The energy center consists of a 2x1 combined cycle 477 MW power plant comprising two 177 MW combustion turbines and a 198 MW steam turbine. The commercial operation of the plant was in June 2000. Hidalgo is operated by Calpine. The plant has a total load heat rate of 7350 Btu/kW. BPUB pays for annual fixed maintenance and capital improvements on an ownership share basis. With continued maintenance, the plant should be available through the IRP analysis period.

Sendero Wind Farm
The Sendero Wind Project is a 78 MW wind farm in Hebbronville, Texas. BPUB
contracted for 100% of the facility's output under a 25-year PPA in December 2015. The site comprises 39 turbines and is owned and operated by Exelon Generation.

Purchase Power Agreements

After decommissioning the Oklaunion coal-fired powerplant, BPUB has contracted with AEP to procure 57-65MW of firm generation through 2021 and a hybrid fixed-shaped and wind capacity purchase with an average of 57-65MW capacity through 2029.

ERCOT Membership
BPUB is a participant in the ERCOT market. ERCOT is a membership-based nonprofit corporation that manages the flow of electric power to 23 million Texas customers — representing 85 percent of the state's electric load. BPUB purchases and sells electricity to other ERCOT market participants through its Qualified Scheduling Entity (QSE) to provide the residents of Brownsville with the most efficient power available.