Author Archive: David Schlissel

Director of Resource Planning Analysis David Schlissel is a long-time consultant, expert witness, and attorney on engineering and economic issues related to energy. He has testified in more than 100 court proceedings or cases before regulatory bodies.

IEEFA Update: In West Virginia Governor’s Scheme, a Bailout Disguised as a National-Security Program That Would Cost Taxpayers $60 Billion Over Five Years

A Flimsy and Dangerous Rationale Rooted in a Denial of Modern Energy Market Trends

Just how big a giveaway to the Appalachian coal industry is West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talking about as he lobbies the White House for a $15-per-ton subsidy for coal producers in the region? Central and Northern Appalachia coal fields produced 167 million tons in 2016, which not incidentally was its lowest year of production […]

IEEFA Update: The U.S. Nuclear Project Cancellation Announcement Heard ’Round the World

IEEFA Update: The U.S. Nuclear Project Cancellation Announcement Heard ’Round the World

Reverberations in Decision on V.C. Summer Project; Similar Reactor Construction in Georgia Is at Risk; Implications for India's Ambitions

Hindsight being 20/20, it’s clear that the developers of the V.C. Summer nuclear-energy project in South Carolina had no choice but to pull the plug on the project, as they announced yesterday they had done. Reasonable foresight would have better served ratepayers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. as well those of Santee Cooper, […]

IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

IEEFA Update: A Texas Coal Domino Teeters

‘If It's Not Economic for Us, It Won't be Economic for Anybody Else’

Conceding finally that it is uneconomical to operate the Gibbons Creek coal plant except during the hottest months of the year, the owners of the plant have announced it will run now only from June through September. The news is emblematic of a broad shift nationally away from coal-fired electricity and is notable for being […]

IEEFA Update: Will Southern Company Refund Mississippi Ratepayers for Failed $7.5 Billion Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment?

IEEFA Update: Will Southern Company Refund Mississippi Ratepayers for Failed $7.5 Billion Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Experiment?

Red Flags Ignored in Long Run-up to Power Plant Debacle

Call it what you will: fiasco, debacle, calamity, misadventure. But not a surprise. Georgia-based Southern Company and its regulators in Mississippi were warned years ago that the experimental and now infamous “clean coal” Kemper power plant project was a shot in the dark. They kept at it anyway, pushing the price tag to $7.5 billion, […]

IEEFA Update: Electricity Auctions Across Major Swaths of U.S. Spell Further Distress for Fading Coal Plants

More Capacity From Gas-Fired Generation and Renewable Sources Creates an Existential Problem for the Old Order

Coal-fired electricity plants across much of the U.S. earn their revenues by selling megawatt hours (MWh) into competitive wholesale capacity markets in the capacity that generation represents in megawatts (MW). The trends in the revenue these plants earn through selling their capacity in periodic auctions are increasingly worrisome for their owners.  Energy market prices have […]

IEEFA Update: Even Without Tax Credits, Prices for U.S. Wind and Solar Are on a Downward Slope

IEEFA Update: Even Without Tax Credits, Prices for U.S. Wind and Solar Are on a Downward Slope

By the Early 2020s, Unsubsidized Wind and Solar Prices Will Beat the Variable Costs of Operating Coal and Natural Gas Plants

Wind and solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices have declined dramatically in recent years, establishing a trend that continues. The levelized prices for power from utility-scale solar projects (5 MW and larger) declined by 73 percent from a capacity-weighted average of $154.20 levelized (in real $2015 dollars) in 2009 to an average of $41.10 per […]

IEEFA Update: Full Retirement of Plant Hammond Remains the Best Outcome for Georgia Ratepayers

IEEFA Update: Full Retirement of Plant Hammond Remains the Best Outcome for Georgia Ratepayers

As Staffing Is Cut by Half, Cost of Operations Remain Uncompetitive

“Economic and market conditions” are the reasons cited by Georgia Power authority this week in announcing it will cut about half the 140-employee staff at the coal-fired Plant Hammond in the Northwest part of the state. Georgia Power, however, is still struggling to accept that the plant ought to be completely shut down, and for […]

IEEFA Update: The Texas Electricity Transition Gains Pace

IEEFA Update: The Texas Electricity Transition Gains Pace

More Coal Plant Closings on the Horizon; Wind and Solar on the Rise

Texas continues its remarkable transition away from coal-fired electricity generation. And the trend is gaining momentum because market forces are in the driver’s seat, which is to say coal plants for the most part are no longer competitive with other sources of energy. A report we published last fall—“The Beginning of the End: Fundamental Changes […]

IEEFA Update: Kemper, Edwardsport, and ‘Clean Coal’

Construction Delays and Budget Overruns; Productivity Problems; High Operating Costs

If the “clean coal” integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology promoted at home and abroad by the U.S. utility industry sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. That’s why Moody’s Investors Services warned the other day that it might downgrade the credit of Mississippi Power Company because of the declining competitiveness of […]

February 28, 2017 Read More →
IEEFA Indiana: Another Coal-Fired Plant That Should Be Retired

IEEFA Indiana: Another Coal-Fired Plant That Should Be Retired

Saving the Petersburg Generating Station Would Cost Indianapolis Power & Light Ratepayers $80 Million. It’s Not Worth It.

Indianapolis Power & Light Company, a subsidiary of Virginia-based AES Corp. that provides electricity to almost a half million people in central Indiana, isn’t known for always doing right by its ratepayers. A spectacular case in point is the company’s current campaign to get the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to allow what in essence is […]

January 27, 2017 Read More →