A total of 5.4 GW of coal-fired power plant retirements have been announced since November 2013 as power companies move to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxins Standards (MATS), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported last week. Continued competition from natural gas and weak electricity demand has also hit the outlook for coal-fired plants with the EIA expected 60 GW of retirements by 2020.
This could pose a significant challenge for electricity supply in future, warned the Institute for Energy Research (IER): “These units were used heavily during this past winter to supply power when infrastructure problems caused natural gas prices to skyrocket. Grid operators are warning the country that electric power may be insufficient to meet demand next winter due to these retirements and those of several nuclear reactors.”
According to the EIA, the following plants are now scheduled to close:
- Two units at Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Paradise fossil plant (1230 MW); unit 8 at its Widows Creek fossil plant (465 MW); and all five units at its Colbert fossil plant (1184 MW). TVA gave no dates for the planned retirements but said they would not operate past the MATS implementation deadline of April 2015.
- South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCEG) has closed into Canadys station (295 MW) as part of its efforts to reduce emissions and comply with MATS. SCEG had originally planned to convert the unit to gas before retirement in 2018.
- The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved a bond issue to cover the costs of closing, decommissioning and demolishing three coal-fired power plants by Consumers Energy (CE): units 4 and 5 at the B.C. Cobb plant (312 MW); units 7 and 8 at the J.C. Weadock plant (310 MW); and units 1 – 3 at the J.R. Whiting plant (325 MW).
- Energy Capital Partners will close the Brayton Point generating facility in 2017 (1084 MW of coal; 435 MW of gas).
Georgia Power (GP) has announced it plans to file a request with the Georgia Public Services Commission to decertify unit 3 at its Mitchell generating facility (155 MW) with the aim of retiring the plant at the end of April 2015.
Edited from various sources by Jonathan Rowland
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/25032014/us_coal_fired_power_plant_retirements_continue_apace_coal/