Coal power plant lays off dozens, shuts down year-round operations

ANDERSON, Tex. (KBTX) - About seventy employees of the coal-fired electrical plant at Gibbons Creek in Anderson are being laid off.

The Texas Municipal Power Agency is moving to seasonal operations, meaning it will only run during the hot summer months, June through September.

Both TMPA and Bryan Texas Utilities officials say, it's not economical to keep the plant running year round. With the recenticetag of natural gas, and the advent of more efficient alternative enrgy sources, they say coal power is just too expensive.

The layoffs at TMPA will begin in October. About 20 employees will remain to run safety operations at the plant over the winter. Then, as June approaches, more will be added back to get the plant up to full operation for the summer.

Bryan, Garland, Denton, and Greenville make up the Texas Municipal Power Agency. The TMPA has been trying to sell this power plant for nearly a year now. BTU officials say, it's not going well, and there are no pending sales nor attractive offers.

The deadline to sell is September 2018. At that point, the TMPA board will have to decide whether to shut down operations at Gibbons Creek completely.

However, Gibbons Creek reservoir will remain open to the public for the time being.