ETEC Breaks Ground on New Hydroelectric Plant

Livingston – East Texas Electric Cooperative and the Trinity River Authority of Texas (TRA) broke ground today on the R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project at Lake Livingston Dam in Polk County, Texas.

In a celebration staged at Trinity River Authority of Texas facilities near the dam, 150 guests enjoyed a noon barbecue lunch catered by local favorite B-Rey’s BBQ before the program began at 1:30 p.m. Featured speakers included Congressman Brian Babin, R-Woodville, who represents the Lake Livingston area in the U.S. Congress.

Other speakers included Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Executive Director Walter Diggles and Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy.

“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony is an exciting moment for our local economy and the people of East Texas,” said Rep. Brian Babin. “The Lake Livingston Hydroelectric Power Plant will provide our area with a new source of reliable and renewable energy. I’m thrilled to welcome this important development and I look forward to monitoring its progress.”

Upon its expected completion in 2018, the new 24-megawatt hydroelectric power plant will produce enough electricity to power 12,000 homes in East Texas. It is being developed in cooperation with TRA, which owns and operates the dam and reservoir, and the city of Houston, which funded construction of the existing facilities in the 1960s and owns water rights to 70 percent of the lake’s storage.

Edd Hargett, General Manager of ETEC, said, “Our thanks go to Congressman Babin and our local elected officials and guests for joining us in celebrating the start of construction of this new hydroelectric plant. This new plant will allow ETEC to further diversify its power mix and continue to offer affordable and reliable electric power to its members across East Texas.”

“Our partnership with ETEC on this project will provide power resources that aid community growth and sustainability and help further enrich areas along the Trinity River basin,” said TRA’s General Manager Kevin Ward.

The plant will use water that TRA would otherwise release through the dam’s spillway gates to meet water demands downstream and to maintain a relatively constant reservoir level. Hydropower operations will not change the net amount, or timing, of water released into the river below the dam.

For further information on the R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project, go to

Media                Kristy Ozmun Public Relations, 512.413.2221,

Contacts:           Vanassa Joseph, Trinity River Authority of Texas, 817.493.5122,

About East Texas Electric Cooperative: ETEC is a not-for-profit electric generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas. ETEC’s mission is to provide low cost, reliable power to its 10 not-for-profit electric distribution cooperatives: Bowie-Cass Electric Cooperative, Cherokee County Electric Cooperative, Deep  East Texas Electric Cooperative, Houston County Electric Cooperative, Jasper-Newton Electric Cooperative, Panola- Harrison Electric Cooperative, Rusk County Electric Cooperative, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative, Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative and Wood County Electric Cooperative. Serving 46 counties in East Texas, ETEC provides power to 330,000 ultimate members through these distribution co-ops.

About Trinity River Authority of Texas: Created by the state legislature in 1955, the Trinity River Authority of Texas is  a conservation and reclamation district providing water and wastewater treatment, along with recreation and reservoir facilities, for municipalities within the nearly 18,000-square-mile Trinity Riverbasin.

Embargoed Until: May 27, 2015 at 3PM CDT