How TMPA works

Coal

TMPA operates the Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station which is a coal fired steam electric plant. Heat from burning coal creates steam which powers a turbine generator creating electricity. TMPA's coal comes from the Powder River BasinExternal Link (PRB) in Wyoming and is a clean, low-sulfur fuel. Once mined, the coal is loaded on a train for transport to Texas. As it is received at the plant, the coal is in softball sized chunks and is stored in a large pile. Approximately 6000 tons of coal per day travels from the pile on a conveyer belt system to silos on the boiler. From the silos, coal is fed to pulverizers where the coal chunks are ground into a powder the consistency of face powder. There are 8 pulverizers, each driven by a 600 HP motor.

Boiler

Heated air is then used to blow the fuel into the boiler furnace where it burns at temperatures as high as 3,000 degrees. The walls of the boiler furnace are made out of pipes which have pressurized water flowing through them. The heat from the fire turns the water to steam. Approximately 3.3 million pounds of steam per hour is then superheated from 600 degrees to 1000 degrees and used to spin a steam turbine.

Turbine Generator

The electricity from the generator is 22,000 volts before it reaches the Gibbons Creek Switchyard - there a transformer steps it up to either 135,000 volts or 384,000 volts where it is fed into the Texas power grid via transmission lines. These transmission lines are connected to smaller distribution centers where electricity is delivered to your home or office.

Reheat & Cooling

Steam is returned to the boiler for reheating where it is used for other applications. Once complete, steam is cooled in condensers by water from the Gibbons Creek Reservoir. The lake cooling water is returned to the lake after it has performed it's cooling function.