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GenConn Energy, a 50-50 joint venture between NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) and The United Illuminating Company (UI), a subsidiary of UIL Holdings Corporation (NYSE: UIL), announced that its 200 megawatt peaking power plant at NRG’s Middletown Station is operational and participating in the ISO-NE markets. The new units will provide power to Connecticut homes and businesses during periods of peak demand such as extreme weather conditions.
“The Middletown power plant is especially important to residents in Connecticut, where there’s been a shortage of ‘fast-start’ units to respond to unexpected transmission and generation outages,” said Drew Murphy, President of NRG’s Northeast Region. “Middletown will help ensure a more flexible supply of power, and the additional capacity in this region should help moderate electricity prices when demand is high.”
Middletown’s four new natural gas turbines can be fully operational within ten minutes, and will be among the cleanest electricity generators in New England. The site also includes NRG’s existing four units.
According to Jim Torgerson, CEO of The United Illuminating Company and UIL Holdings Corporation, “Bringing the GenConn Middletown facility online provides peaking generation resources that provide system reliability within New England, especially when demand for electricity is high. This is especially beneficial to our customers because UI’s peak demand is driven by air conditioning in the hot summer months.”
In addition to Middletown, GenConn owns and operates an almost identical plant in Milford, Connecticut. Both facilities will provide cleaner, reliable energy that help support Connecticut’s goal to meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.
GenConn is a joint venture between NRG Energy, a leading wholesale power generation company, and UI, a well-respected Connecticut utility, formed to produce fast-start peaking generation in the state. NRG is Connecticut’s second largest power generator, and UI is an investor-owned transmission and distribution utility with more than 324,000 customers in Southern Connecticut. The GenConn joint venture was created to address Connecticut’s need for peaking power generation, and was developed in accordance with legislation passed by the State of Connecticut’s General Assembly in 2007 (Public Act 07-242, Section 50), which sought a long-term solution to meet that peaking need.