The Tenaska Frontier Generating Station near Shiro in Grimes County, Texas, is a natural gas-fueled combined-cycle electric generating facility developed and owned by Tenaska Frontier Partners, Ltd. Tenaska affiliates manage and operate the plant, which includes three General Electric Frame 7FA gas turbines and one General Electric steam turbine.
At the time it was developed in the late 1990s, Tenaska Frontier was one of the largest non-utility electric generation facilities in North America and one of the first plants able to dispatch power to multiple grids beyond the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Electricity had previously been transmitted in and out of ERCOT only through two expensive direct current (DC) interties. Tenaska Frontier interconnects with ERCOT through CenterPoint Energy’s 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and with grids outside of ERCOT, in the Eastern Interconnected Grid, through Entergy’s 345-kV transmission line. Tenaska Frontier’s dual grid capability has been featured in Power Engineering magazine. In 2001, the plant was named Project of the Year by Power Engineering for the innovation. Tenaska Frontier also has the ability to generate power using fuel oil.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC purchases the facility’s total output and markets the power both within ERCOT and all of the Eastern Interconnected Grid. The plant can power more than 830,000 homes.
The plant provides 28 well-paying, full-time jobs and, in 2018, paid approximately $4.9 million in salaries and payments to local subcontractors and vendors. More than $48.1 million in property taxes has been paid since the plant began operation, of which more than $38.8 million supported area school districts.
Employees at Tenaska Frontier have achieved the nation’s highest safety designation, the Voluntary Protection Program Star, a program administered by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.