ANDERSON — The Texas Municipal Power Agency board of directors voted unanimously Thursday to authorize the sale of its coal-fired power plant to Clean Energy Technology Association for $57.5 million.
Denton is part of the four-city partnership that owns the Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station located about 20 miles east of Bryan along with the transmission lines and substations in Brazos, Grimes and Robertson counties. Bryan, Garland and Greenville make up the rest of the partnership.
The board also authorized the sale of the Gibbons Creek and Jack Creek substations and related 345-kilovolt transmission lines — as well as certain planned improvements to them — for about $71.5 million to GridLiance Texas Transco.
The TMPA board, made up of two appointees from each city, approved the sales during its regular meeting Thursday. The agency had been negotiating the sale agreements for several months.
Mayor Chris Watts and Denton resident Bill Cheek are Denton’s appointees to the board.
TMPA general manager Bob Kahn said that the sale — if it is executed by the end of business hours Nov. 18 — is based on the current and future state of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas wholesale electric market, natural gas prices and an effort to “save the ratepayers some money on their bills.”
“TMPA is still going to exist — we’ll still have board meetings,” Kahn said. “There will just be no power generation anymore.”
Kahn said he will be able to speak more freely on the matter when and if the sale is executed next week, when the agreements would become public.
TMPA was formed in 1975 by Bryan and the other three member cities to provide an economical power supply for resale to their customers, according to the group’s website. The TMPA board first issued a request for proposals in January to solicit interest in buying the plant and parts of its transmission system. After the board recommended the plant’s sale, each of the four member cities also gave authorization.
TMPA has about 100 employees, the majority of whom work in power production. Kahn said the assumption is that Clean Energy Technology will use those employees when it takes over the plant.
Other related assets included in the plant sale would include the Gibbons Creek Reservoir, the Hog Creek Substation, a gas pipeline, water pipeline and pumping station, a railroad spur and right of way and the coal pile. According to the resolution, Clean Energy Technology Association will provide $35 million in funding for an environmental escrow and a $25 million letter of credit for environmental purposes.
TMPA will retain about a quarter of its transmission assets, along with the 10,500 acres it used to mine for the lignite coal the plant used to burn. A handful of employees will be focused on reclaiming that land, which is regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission, and the board may decide to sell it in the future, Kahn said.
Denton Record-Chronicle staff writer Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe contributed to this report.