* Texas faces electricity shortage as demand grows
* Regulators working to encourage power-plant construction
* NRG to seek second permit for larger gas-fired plant
HOUSTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - NRG Energy, the
second-largest power generator in Texas, has accelerated
construction of a small natural gas-fired power plant near
Houston to help the state avert a looming power shortage next
summer, officials said on Wednesday.
NRG will add a 75-megawatt, combustion turbine at its W.A.
Parish coal-fired plant near Houston to be online next summer.
The "peaker" unit will be able to start in minutes to meet high
"The new unit will bring additional power to the grid very
quickly, cleanly and efficiently," said John Ragan, president of
NRG's Gulf Coast operations.
NRG also holds a permit to build a large combined-cycle gas
unit at its Bertron power plant east of Houston and plans to
seek a permit in the coming months to build another large gas
plant at another existing plant site, officials said.
Generation owners and developers have warned that time was
growing short to install new generation by 2014, when the Texas
grid operator has said power reserves will drop into
single-digits, increasing the likelihood of rolling outages.