A $937 million power station in Willis is making headway, slated to come online mid-2021.

Entergy Texas, which provides electricity across Texas, including the Conroe area, broke ground on the project in February 2019. The new plant is located north of the Lewis Creek Reservoir and is on Entergy’s existing power station site.

The plant will service Entergy Texas customers across Montgomery County, including Conroe, and customers may expect an increase in user fees to fund the project. Entergy is also extending an existing 20-mile pipeline to fuel the plant with natural gas, said Stuart Barrett, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas. The plant is a combined cycle gas turbine unit, meaning it uses two types of turbines to generate electricity—gas combustion turbines and a steam turbine.

The plant is being funded through customer user fees. Once it comes online, Barrett said customers’ monthly rates will likely initially increase by about $3.62 per 1,000 kilowatt hours. However, Entergy officials claimed the plant will result in about $1 billion in savings for Entergy customers over the next 30 years through increased efficiencies. The company expects the plant to pay for itself in 10 years.

“This is an easy economic investment for customers,” Barrett said.

The plant created 750 on-site construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs, Entergy officials said.

Entergy officials said they believe investing in new infrastructure is critical to meet Southeast Texas’ growing needs. According to Entergy, the region would face a 1.2-gigawatt shortfall in 2022 if no new infrastructure were delivered. The Montgomery County Power Station will deliver 993 megawatts hourly, or about 1 gigawatt—enough to meet the average power needs of about 640,000 homes, according to Entergy.