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Nichols Station

Nichols Station photo 

Location: Northeast of Amarillo, Texas

Plant Description: Nichols Station is a three-unit, natural gas-fired, steam-electric generating station.

Power Production Capabilities: 457 megawatts (MW): Unit 1 – 107 MW, Unit 2 – 106 MW, and Unit 3 – 244 MW.

Fuel Source: Regional natural gas production

Plant History: Unit 1 was completed in 1960, Unit 2 in 1962 and Unit 3 in 1968.

Interesting Features: Nichols Station was named to honor the late Herb Nichols, who was a chairman of Southwestern Public Service Co.'s board of directors (one of the predecessor companies to Xcel Energy).

Environmental Highlights: Nichols Station pioneered the use of reclaimed, treated sewage effluent for cooling and other vital power plant functions. The technology explored, demonstrated and established at Nichols now is a mainstay of environmentally conscientious industrial operations nationally. An average of 15 million gallons of sewage effluent is treated and recycled daily at Nichols for use at both Nichols and the company’s Harrington Station. This practice saves the city the cost of disposal and saves fresh water for other uses. Cooling water from the Nichols-Harrington complex is reused for irrigating grasses, seed crops, and forage on nearby farmland. The American Water Works, Texas Section, recognized this pioneering sewage effluent-recapture work with its premier award, the Bob Derrington Water Reclamation Award. Nichols is a “zero discharge” facility, which means no process waters are discharged from the plant site.

Community Involvement: Nichols Station and its employees actively support the local United Way. They also support local high school students through the AACAL and Rotary Clubs for students interested in technical careers.

Contact Information:

  • Plant Information and Tour Requests — 1-800-895-4999
  • Media Inquiries — 806-378-2714