In the 1950s, we built an electric generation plant that was state of the art. And now, we’ve done it again.
-Rae Rice, Manager, State Government Affairs, OG&E
More efficient, sustainable and responsive: The decision to construct the new combustion turbine units came from long-term planning nearly a decade ago, when we realized the existing, aging technology wouldn’t meet the burgeoning needs of our customers. As we considered location options for the new center, it was clear the existing acreage of the Mustang power plant site was the perfect choice. Modernizing Mustang’s technology avoids the need for—and is far less expensive than—building an entire new plant to add to our existing fleet.
The Mustang site has an existing, skilled workforce, but also has crucial infrastructure. Near OKC.
The site offers the new Mustang Energy Center (MEC) connection to nine existing transmission lines, which ensures energy can be delivered where and when it is most critical. Plus, the Mustang site is located right in the heart of our largest load center, Oklahoma City. That means the Mustang location is essential to the reliability and resiliency of thousands of private and government customers and will play a critical role in restoring our system in times of crisis.
The site also has a flexible transformer and substation infrastructure, too, that helps us deliver electricity at two different kilovolts. The higher kV makes it more convenient for industrial businesses, while the lower voltage is available for each community and every home we serve. No greenfield site could ever offer that kind of existing foundation.
The Mustang site also has the necessary water resources.
Water is critical in the generation of electricity. But with a footprint that’s less than half the old facility, the MEC uses much less water—and uses it much more efficiently. Oklahoma is not immune to droughts, and water is critical to generating electricity, so serving customers with a smaller footprint and fewer resources is another forward-looking achievement.
There’s also plenty of other infrastructure amenities at the Mustang site. All told, Mustang was a perfect bridge to every necessity.
A nice ring to it: In addition to being in the perfect position to balance renewable energy resources, with transmission infrastructure, the Mustang plant also sits on a high-voltage ring strategically circling the Oklahoma City metro. That critical loop helps ensure reliable, dependable and resilient power for our largest load centers, as well as the entire service area.
The construction on the new MEC generators was also an economic boom. More than 50 Oklahoma-based contractors and suppliers built the new units, while approximately 175 craft-skilled men and women came from Oklahoma to help construct the center. Conservatively, this represents $50 million into the local economies (a figure that doesn’t include money spent by out-of-town workers in restaurants, hotels, etc.).
-Steve Crall, Director, Corporate Tax, OG&E
The next question after location: What to build on the site?
We replaced ’50s era technology with up-to-the-minute innovation, creating one of only two power plants like it in the nation—with the other located in Linden, NJ. The Siemens Trent 60 gas turbines are the same engines that lift airplanes, each made to ramp fast and shut down quickly.
Even better, these engines can run in any combination. Half mode, full mode. One turbine, three, even all seven. Their flexible cycling helps the regional energy grid respond to energy needs quickly and wisely.
Wind and solar integration: The MEC is situated at a strategic point to make the most of Oklahoma’s wind farms and solar resources, which primarily populate northwestern Oklahoma. By combining those natural energy sources with a gas-fired, quick-starting technology and combustion turbines—which can easily supplement power as needed when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing—the MEC is perfectly located for a seamless balance of generation and resources.
Steve Merrill, Chief Financial Officer, OGE Energy Corp.
OG&E is proud to be the largest consumer of cleaner-burning natural gas in Oklahoma. And the MEC is no exception when it comes to supplying innovation by partnering with long-term, forward-thinking Oklahoma companies. The Mustang gas pipeline was constructed along with our partner—ONEOK—to transport natural gas from their Edmond storage facility to the Mustang site. The system includes nearly 22 miles of new, 16-inch diameter pipe and is designed to move up to 55 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (MMcf/d). And it’s another way to ensure the MEC can react timely, safely and efficiently.
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OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), is headquartered in Oklahoma City and is the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company (OG&E), a regulated electric utility serving approximately 842,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. In addition, OGE holds 25.7 percent limited partner interest and 50 percent general partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, LP.