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IEEFA Research

IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for  transition should commence now

IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for transition should commence now

Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC), one of the newest in U.S., risks closure due to market forces

December 16, 2020 (IEEFA)—Retiring the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) will bring unnecessarily abrupt economic hardship to Wise County if state and local officials do not begin to plan now for a transition, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis. The 8-year-old coal-fired power plant, owned by […]

IEEFA U.S.: Investors in gas-fired projects in largest regional power system face substantial risks

IEEFA U.S.: Investors in gas-fired projects in largest regional power system face substantial risks

Eleven PJM projects under development may fail to prove financially viable

October 5, 2020 (IEEFA) — The landscape for developers of natural gas-fired power plants in the nation’s largest regional power system has shifted dramatically over the last decade, according to a joint study by the Applied Economics Clinic and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) system coordinates the flow […]

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

IEEFA U.S. Coal Outlook 2017: Short-Term Gains Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals

Production Declining by as Much as 40 Million Tons; Prices Failing to Benefit Shareholders or Stimulate New Investment; Anemic Exports; Little or No Gain From Regulatory Relief; Increasingly Dim Employment Prospects

We’re out this morning with our annual outlook for U.S. coal markets, and the picture isn’t pretty. We see the potential for some short-lived strength in the current uptick for coal producers but the title of our assessment sums up the larger view: “Short-Term Gains Will Be Muted by Prevailing Weaknesses in Fundamentals.” You can […]

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known

IEEFA Analysis: Financial Condition of Montana’s Colstrip 1 and 2 Worse Than Previously Known

Costs to Ratepayers Stand to Increase if Puget Sound Keeps Two Coal-Fired Plants Alive

In testimony today to the state Utilities and Transportation Commission in Olympia, Wash., we are presenting fresh analyses that shows how two coal-fired electricity generators in Montana co-owned by Puget Sound Energy are worse investments  than previously known. Over the past several months, IEEFA has documented how Colstrip 1 and 2 have become an increasingly […]

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

Study Concludes That Colstrip 1 and 2 Are Financially Unviable; Cautions Against Further Expenditures

In an Era of Low Natural-Gas Prices and Competition From Renewable Energy, Phasing Out Two Coal-Fired Units Is the Best Option for Owners

JUNE 23, 2015 (IEEFA) — An analysis of data on operational costs and energy markets by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis questions the financial viability of the two oldest units at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned equally by Talen Montana and Puget Sound […]

Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

Report – No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity

No Need for New U.S. Coal Ports: Data Shows Oversupply in Capacity (pdf) By Tom Sanzillo, Director of Finance, IEEFA  

November 19, 2014 Read More →
IEEFA Report: Almost $30 Billion in Revenues Lost to Taxpayers by ‘Great Giveaway’ of Federally Owned Coal in Powder River Basin

IEEFA Report: Almost $30 Billion in Revenues Lost to Taxpayers by ‘Great Giveaway’ of Federally Owned Coal in Powder River Basin

Almost $30 billion in revenues lost to taxpayers by “giveaway” of federally owned coal in Powder River Basin (pdf) With almost no accountability, BLM failure created boom in electric power industry use of artificially cheap coal from Montana and Wyoming; Next major coal sale set for Thursday   WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 25, 2012 – […]

June 25, 2012 Read More →

More News and Commentary

Bloomberg: 32 of 44 PJM coal plants will be unprofitable in 2023

Bloomberg: Most of the coal plants that feed the biggest U.S. power grid will soon no longer be economic to run after prices in a key auction plunged to the lowest in 11 years. Of the 44 coal-fired power plants on the grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC, 32 will be unprofitable in 2023, the […]

June 9, 2021 Read More →

Puget Sound Energy signs deal to buy wind power from Montana farm

Seattle Times: Puget Sound Energy, Washington’s largest private utility, has signed a 20-year contract to purchase wind power in Southeast Montana as part of a major shift away from coal- and gas-generated electricity. PSE will buy 350 megawatts of power, enough electricity for about 140,000 homes, from NextEra Energy Resources, which is building the Clearwater […]

June 3, 2021 Read More →

Gas industry ‘kicking the can down the road’ with green hydrogen

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Several current and former policymakers expressed skepticism that hydrogen and renewable natural gas are mature enough to play a major role in their states’ transition from natural gas. “I know that there’s a lot of talk about fuels of the future like RNG and hydrogen,” former New York State Public […]

June 2, 2021 Read More →

Colstrip co-owners file suit to block Montana law extending plant life

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): A day after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law two bills seeking to extend the life of the Colstrip power plant, one of the last remaining coal-fired generating stations in the Northwest, four of the facility’s owners opposed to the legislation fired back with a lawsuit against two owners […]

May 7, 2021 Read More →

Oil and gas-rich Alaska seeking renewable alternatives to fossil fuels

KCAW Radio: Concerns around energy independence and high costs have led many places in rural Alaska to look for renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. The Department of Energy recently announced the awardees of a new program to help remote communities find clean energy solutions. The Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project or ETIPP will help five […]

April 28, 2021 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Colstrip legislation would slam NorthWestern customers with costs topping $1.3 billion over 20 years

IEEFA U.S.: Colstrip legislation would slam NorthWestern customers with costs topping $1.3 billion over 20 years

NorthWestern could charge customers for fictional investments at Colstrip rather than actual costs

April 15, 2021 (IEEFA)—A measure being considered in the Montana Legislature (Senate Bill 379) would grossly and unfairly enrich NorthWestern Energy with the creation of an effective tax on the company’s customers for 20 years or longer—a tax that would be based on a fictional company investment of almost $700 million. Traditionally, consumers pay for […]

Washington utility moves forward with 5MW green hydrogen demonstration project

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Heralded as one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the U.S., Douglas County PUD No. 1 on March 8 broke ground on a 5-MW hydrogen generation and storage pilot project in central Washington state that will harness excess hydropower from the Columbia River and convert it into renewable hydrogen. […]

March 11, 2021 Read More →

Lighthouse Resources bankruptcy likely the end for proposed Washington coal export terminal

Casper Star Tribune: Wyoming’s long-held dream of exporting Powder River Basin coal from a West Coast terminal was recently dashed when the project’s owner filed for bankruptcy and failed to find an interested buyer. Lighthouse Resources Inc. petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 3. The company owns the Decker coal mine in Montana, just […]

January 12, 2021 Read More →

Washington state charts path for 2025 coal-free electricity, 2030 carbon-neutral electricity

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): After 18 months of workshops, hearings and document revisions, the Washington State Department of Commerce and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission adopted rules to require investor-owned and publicly owned electric utilities to supply power to their customers from sources that do not emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas […]

January 11, 2021 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for  transition should commence now
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IEEFA U.S.: Virginia coal plant’s future isn’t bright: preparation for transition should commence now

Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC), one of the newest in U.S., risks closure due to market forces

December 16, 2020 (IEEFA)—Retiring the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center (VCHEC) will bring unnecessarily abrupt economic hardship to Wise County if state and local officials do not begin to plan now for a transition, concludes a report published today by the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis. The 8-year-old coal-fired power plant, owned by […]