A Missouri-based energy company is seeking a zoning change to build a $120 million power generation facility on land off Attwater Avenue, which would be a boon to the city’s tax base, officials said.
The city will hold a public hearing May 1 about whether to rezone property west of the Ashland chemical plant, 4501 Attwater Ave., for future use as a peaking power plant, or a facility generally only used when there is high demand, said Mike Alvarado, senior vice president of asset development for ProEnergy, the company behind the development.
ProEnergy owns about 40 acres near the Ashland chemical plant that company officials would like to use for the facility, but the area is currently zoned as single-family residential, Alvarado said. In order for the company to move forward on the facility, that property would have to be rezoned to accommodate the development.
The company already has been through two public meetings about the plans and hasn’t experienced much pushback, given that the property is near several industrial facilities, Alvarado said.
“This is a very small footprint,” Alvarado said.
Mayor Matt Doyle said Tuesday he didn’t expect rezoning would cause much controversy, and this is an instance where it would make more sense for it not to be residential property anyway.
“We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in Texas City, tax base-wise,” Doyle said. “If even half come to fruition, it’ll be great. But if all of them do, that will be really good for us.”
While ProEnergy owns 40 acres near the 5500 block of Attwater Avenue, the power plant facility itself would operate on about 6 acres, Alvarado said.
“The facility will largely handle itself,” Alvarado said. “What that means is that you won’t find half a dozen or a dozen employees at the location. It will be largely remote-operated, with 24-hour-per-day monitoring. And we’ll have one or two individuals there intermittently during the seven-day workweek.”
The company chose Texas City for the $120 million facility because of its proximity to other industrial facilities and because of its connections to other transmission and gas lines nearby, Alvarado said.
Power generated by the facility would help increase the capability of the grid in about a 50-mile radius around Houston, Alvarado said.
ProEnergy has similar facilities being constructed to the east of Houston and near Corpus Christi, Alvarado said.