October 13, 2015 Read More →

Missouri City Gives Up on Coal, Closes Plant

Matthew Bandyk for SNL:

“We’re totally done with coal in our system,” Independence Power & Light Director Leon Daggett told The Independence Examiner in an Oct. 10 report. The Missouri City facility stopped running after a consultant earlier this year told the city that decommissioning and maintaining the site would the cheapest option for the city, much less expensive than dismantling the plant or converting it to run on another fuel like natural gas or biomass.

The more than 60-year-old plant is one of dozens of coal-fired facilities around the country for which aging equipment makes upgrades to comply with new U.S. EPA regulations an uneconomic choice, leaving shutting them down or switching to another fuel as the remaining options.

But installing equipment to burn biomass at Missouri City would cost $53 million, while natural gas modifications would cost more than $55 million. But decommissioning the plant would cost only a little over $900,000, plus annual maintenance costs of $32,400 to keep the site in basic shape, according to a memo from Daggett to Independence City Manager Robert Heacock describing the findings of the consultants. Decommissioning and maintaining the plant was also much cheaper than fully retiring the plant, which would cost more than $17 million plus $13,800 in annual maintenance costs.

Missouri City coal plant closes, future uncertain

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