What’s the future of the old Fort Worth Power and Light plant on Panther Island?

In the Spotlight: Panther Island. Star-Telegram journalists answer your questions about the future Fort Worth development. Read more. Got a question? Use the form at the bottom of this story.

The old TXU power plant has been sitting on Panther Island almost as long as the Stockyards have been a part of Fort Worth.

The former coal-fired power plant was built in 1912, one year after Niles City was annexed into the city of Fort Worth.

Tarrant County College acquired the plant in 2004 as part of its Trinity River East campus development that was to span both sides of the Trinity River.

While there were never official plans to have the power plant be part of the campus, some suggested it could be renovated into a museum or fine arts building.

However, escalating costs and the 2008 financial crisis forced TCC to scale back plans, limiting the campus to its footprint on the south side of the Trinity River.

Now questions are circling about the fate of the 112-year-old power plant after a recently released consultant report made several recommendations for the future development of Panther Island.

The plant has the potential to become an iconic site not just for Panther Island, but for all of Fort Worth, the report said. However, questions about its structural integrity along with lack of direct access from the road make redevelopment a challenge.

The report suggested using the building as a centerpiece for development around the plant using examples like It used the examples of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn, New York, and the Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Georgia.

TCC is working with the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the Tarrant Regional Water District to explore possibilities for the power plant, and is looking forward to its next steps, said spokesperson Cecilia Jacobs in an email to the Star-Telegram.


Panther Island will be created when the Army Corps of Engineers builds a 1.5-mile bypass channel connecting two sections of the Trinity River north of downtown. The plan is to provide flood control and update the aging levee system. The resulting island will create 338 acres of prime real estate.