LCRA began operating Sim Gideon Power Plant's first unit in 1965, following rapid growth in demand for electricity. The last of Gideon's three units began operation in 1972, bringing the plant's total generating capacity to 608 megawatts (MW). That’s enough to serve about 152,000 typical Central Texas homes when the demand for power is highest, such as very hot summer afternoons or cold winter nights.
The plant is located five miles east of Bastrop and shares the Lost Pines Power Park with Lost Pines 1 Power Project.
- Unit 1, completed in 1965, has a capacity of 136 MW.
- Unit 2, completed in 1968, has a capacity of 136 MW.
- Unit 3, completed in 1971, has a capacity of 336 MW.
Air quality at Sim Gideon is maintained at levels better than the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Even though natural gas is a clean-burning fuel, Gideon maintains continuous monitoring equipment that supplies information on plant emissions to meet requirements of the federal Clean Air Act of 1990. Lake Bastrop, which provides the plant's cooling water, is popular for fishing and other recreational activities. The lake is tested routinely for process chemicals, dissolved oxygen and temperatures. See Lake Bastrop.