Mystery Surrounds Reports of Arizona Technology Company with Plans To Seasonally Operate Mothballed Gibbons Creek Power Plant

Over the past several weeks, a entity named TEERP Power Station LLC has secured various approvals through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) towards a potential restart of the mothballed Gibbons Creek coal-fired power plant located near Bryan, Texas. In a smart environmental and economic move, this plant was shut down by the municipal utilities that owned it (Bryan, Garland, Greenville, and Denton) and generally has been replaced in each portfolio with cheaper, renewable energy. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the prospective buyer is Frontier Applied Sciences, a technology development firm based in Scottsdale, Arizizona. This reporting is the first mention of an actual buyer for the plant, as all approvals for the project have been under TEERP Power Station LLC. 

In response to these reports, Chrissy Mann, Senior Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, issued the following statement: 

“Clean energy sources, not coal or gas, are by and large the future of the ERCOT market. We know that wind, solar, and battery storage represent 95% of proposed projects in ERCOT right now. And this is a market that is quickly recovering from tight reserve margins in an era of historically low gas prices, making a new coal entrant that much more unlikely to succeed. Little is known or understood about this proposal, including the corporate goals of Frontier Applied Sciences, a technology firm, seeking to seasonally operate a legacy coal project. This proposal to resurrect Gibbons Creek comes on the heels of several years of significant coal retirements in Texas and during a pandemic worsened by poor air quality. The timing and this trajectory indicates a dubious future for a 1980’s era coal plant that relies on coal shipments from Wyoming, with unknown future environmental compliance costs and issues, especially in a market as competitive as ERCOT. We look forward to learning more about this proposal in the future.”