The city of Denton and Denton Municipal Electric have announced that the Denton Energy Center power plant will begin commercial operation on July 1, which will allow DME to begin providing wholesale power to the Texas grid, according to a city news release.
“Since 1905, DME has maintained high quality, reliable electric service for Denton,” said DME General Manager George Morrow. “Achieving commercial operation is a major milestone for the DEC project, DME and the City of Denton as we continue our focus on providing exceptional service for our customers.”
The DEC — which has been undergoing testing throughout the spring — is a 225-megawatt, quick-start, natural gas-fired power plant comprised of 12 reciprocating internal combustion engines and generators, according to the news release. Individually, each “gen set” weighs 416 tons and can generate up to 18.75 megawatts of electricity.
The DEC includes advanced supervisory, safety and emissions control systems; additional exhaust gas reduction equipment and noise reduction upgrades to the power blocks; and exhaust, fuel and cooling water systems. The DEC took 423,000 man hours to construct, with up to 255 people working on site.
Construction on the DEC began in 2016, with the goal of providing a cost hedge during high-priced energy hours as Denton looked to expand its renewable portfolio, according to the city. Currently, the city is taking steps to become 100-percent renewable by 2020.
DME will host public tours of the DEC on Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. Tours will last approximately 15 minutes and will include access to the engine halls. Attendees must wear flat, close-toed shoes and long pants, while additional required safety equipment will be provided. Advance registration is not required, but is recommended as tour group sizes are limited. Attendees who do not register will be assigned to a tour on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability. Anyone wishing to tour the DEC can register at www.dmepower.com or contact Carrie Carson at 940-349-7105.