October 12, 2017 Read More →

As U.S. Government Moves to Shore Up Coal, Market Trends Move the Other Way

SNL:

The number of scheduled or completed coal capacity retirements is increasing through 2021 at the same time the U.S. Department of Energy is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to adopt a new rule that would bolster coal generation.

According to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, about 49.5 GW of coal capacity is or was scheduled for retirement between 2013 and 2021, an increase from the 44.1 GW scheduled as of March 27 for that period. Forty-five coal units are slated to retire from 2017 to 2021 while 395 units have been retired since 2012, though certain planned retirements without firm dates are not reported in the data.

Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. is in the process of replacing the capacity from its Bridgeport Harbor 3, Hudson 2 and Mercer plants with new natural gas-fired combined-cycle plants, due strictly to cheaper natural gas.

A spokesman for Dynegy Inc., scheduled to retire 2,181 MW of capacity over the next five years, also blamed low-priced natural gas and high maintenance costs for the closing of the Brayton Point 1-3 plant.

Tennessee Valley Authority is scheduled to retire 2,494 MW of coal capacity. The utility’s head of coal procurement said recently that Tennessee Valley Authority expects its annual coal burn will remain flat for a period before dropping by as much as a quarter in the coming years.

JEA’s and Florida Power & Light Co.’s 1,276-MW St Johns River Power coal-fired facility could retire as early as Jan. 5, 2018. The utility filed a petition in May with the Florida Public Service Commission to close the coal-fired facility as a way to lower expenses for customers and prevent carbon dioxide emissions.

More: ($) Coal retirement plans increasing despite federal focus on grid reliability

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