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Colorado Bend Energy Center

The Colorado Bend Energy Center is a 550-megawatt power plant developed at a time when a seasonal shortfall of power was forecast for the Houston, Texas area. The demand for electricity was increasing while utilities were decommissioning some of their older, less efficient plants.

Colorado Bend Energy Center

WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, provided fast-track design for the natural gas-fired, combined-cycle plant, including civil, structural, and mechanical and electrical engineering, instrumentation design, and equipment procurement. The plant was put into commercial operation with a 225-megawatt capacity, which was later expanded to a 550-megawatt capacity. The plant operates during periods of peak demand, and innovative design solutions were required to meet the rapid start-up requirement. It was designed with a stack damper, which keeps the heat recovery steam generator in a warm standby condition when offline. The plant includes a full steam turbine bypass to allow the combustion turbine generator and heat recovery steam generator to come up to full load independently of the steam turbine generator.

During early commercial operation, the Colorado Bend Energy Center ran substantially more than originally planned to meet the demand for electricity, producing power from 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.