Committed to Environmental Protection
White Stallion Energy Center will help keep our electric bills from skyrocketing and will contribute much needed electric-generating capacity to support Texas’ growing economy. But even with all the advantages a new power generation facility offers, safety is our number one concern: the safety of people, wildlife and the eco-system.
The White Stallion Energy Center will be built on a tract of land one mile south of the Port of Bay City, between FM 2668 and the Lower Colorado River. Because of its location near a sensitive wetlands area and near Bay City, every measure has been taken to safeguard the environment.
Ensuring Safe Air Quality
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued the White Stallion Energy Center a draft air permit. In reviewing White Stallion’s air permit application, the TCEQ Executive Director’s favorable comments included this statement:
“…based on potential concentrations reviewed by the Executive Director’s staff, it is not expected that existing health conditions will worsen, or that there will be adverse health effects in the general public, sensitive subgroups, or animal life as result of exposure to the expected levels of emissions including organic compounds from this site.”
Executive Director’s Response to Comments
White Stallion Energy Center LLC, Permit Nos. 86088, HAP28, PAL26 and PSD-TX1160
Water usage and conservation is of a particular concern to residents of Matagorda County and the surrounding area. White Stallion Energy Center is taking every measure to conserve the water it draws from the Lower Colorado River and to keep it clean. While many power plants use a once-through cooling system, White Stallion will recycle the water it uses seven times.
About 80% of this water will be released into the atmosphere as steam—as pure as the steam that comes out of a teapot—and naturally recaptured in the environment. The remaining discharge water will be cleansed to TCEQ requirements before it returns to the Colorado River at the average rate of five million gallons a day.
No Impact on Groundwater
The White Stallion Energy Center will not impact groundwater. Its ash storage facility will have two liners: a clay liner and a synthetic fabric liner. Because the ash will be disposed in an inert and dry state in the double-lined landfill, the ash will not be able to leach into the groundwater.
Preventions During River Flooding
White Stallion has also addressed the problem of preventing the release of pollutants during river flooding—even in the event of high-volumes of backwater that could be produced by flooding of the Colorado River. Levees will be constructed around exposed materials such as the fuel storage stockpiles and the ash landfill to control flood waters up to a 250-year flood elevation as defined by FEMA. In the event of a 100-year rainfall event (approximately 12.5 inches) at the site, storm water from around the fuel stockpiles and the ashlandfill will be contained and treated before it is released to keep the Colorado River in its pristine condition.
Preserving Water for Agriculture
White Stallion’s water requirements at the site are 22,000 acre-ft/yr. The primary means of reducing the amount of water contracted with LCRA is to reduce the evaporative losses in the river and the canal system from the Highland Lakes to the site. These losses initially increased the amount of water to be contracted to 36,000 acre-ft/yr. White Stallion is particularly sensitive to agricultural requirements and is working with rice farmers who depend on water from the Lower Colorado River to grow their crops.
To ensure there will be enough water for everyone, even in times of drought, White Stallion has committed to either fund the construction of an $8 million, 9-mile closed pipe from LCRA’s Bay City Pumping Station on Route 35 to the White Stallion Energy Center or to install a concrete and synthetic liner for this length of canal. Either alternative will reduce the facility’s operational water requirement by over 8,000 acre-ft/yr, from 36,000 acre-feet per year to between 28,000 and 25,000 acre-feet per year. In addition, an onsite reservoir will hold up to five days of water supply — or 90 million gallons — to reduce reliance on Colorado River during emergencies. White Stallion is also considering ways to expand reservoir capacity if needed.
Finally, the White Stallion Energy Center’s impact to the current onsite wetlands affects less than one-half percent of total land use.