US Coal Markets

IEEFA Research

IEEFA U.S.: Wind surpassed coal as No. 1 fuel source in 2020 for Southwest Power Pool

IEEFA U.S.: Wind surpassed coal as No. 1 fuel source in 2020 for Southwest Power Pool

Wind energy growth due to geography, design factors, and new installations

February 11, 2021 (IEEFA) — Wind surpassed coal as the primary power generation source last year for the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), an independent grid operator that provides electricity for a vast territory stretching from the Texas Panhandle to the Canadian border. An analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found […]

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.: Colorado electric wholesaler is alienating cost-conscious co-ops with its fossil commitments

IEEFA U.S.: Colorado electric wholesaler is alienating cost-conscious co-ops with its fossil commitments

Tri-State currently plans using coal through 2050 and expanding into gas; projected rate increases of 55% by 2050

Nov. 17, 2020 (IEEFA) — One of the biggest power suppliers to rural electric co-ops in the U.S. is putting its business model at risk as members clamor for better access to renewable energy, more affordable rates, and more say in how they buy or produce power, concludes a report released today by the Institute […]

and November 17, 2020 Read More →
IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

IEEFA update: Peabody Energy flirts with bankruptcy—again

Bear market for coal, new financial pressures push world’s largest coal company towards default

Just three-and-a-half years after emerging from its previous bankruptcy, Peabody Energy—the world’s largest private coal miner—admitted to investors on Monday that it could face yet another trip to bankruptcy court in the coming months. Coal bankruptcies in the United States have become increasingly common. Cheap gas and renewable power have steadily replaced coal in the […]

IEEFA: New Mexico’s biggest utility moves forcefully toward solar

IEEFA: New Mexico’s biggest utility moves forcefully toward solar

Four projects totaling 950 megawatts will replace San Juan Generating Station; likelihood of coal plant carbon-capture retrofit further diminished

October 12, 2020 (IEEFA) — An aggressive expansion into utility-scale solar by Public Service Company of New Mexico will replace all of the power PNM will lose when the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) closes in June 2022, concludes a research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. PNM’s […]

and October 12, 2020 Read More →
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.: Ratepayers face risks with Project Tundra’s retrofit of aging N.D. coal-fired plant

IEEFA U.S.: Ratepayers face risks with Project Tundra’s retrofit of aging N.D. coal-fired plant

Unproven technology funded by federal tax credits unlikely to pay off

September 22, 2020 (IEEFA) — A plan to retrofit an aging coal-fired plant in North Dakota with unproven carbon capture and storage technology is likely to raise rates for customers who get electricity from the Milton R. Young Unit 2 facility, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis […]

IEEFA U.S.: Long-term contracts with American Municipal Power (AMP) saddle local communities with high prices

Dozens of communities in five states pay far above market price for electricity from Prairie State coal plant and Ohio River hydro projects

September 21, 2020 (IEEFA) — Long-term contracts with American Municipal Power (AMP) have stuck 83 communities in 41 counties across five states with extraordinarily high electricity prices for half a century, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The largest AMP member, Cleveland Public Power (CPP), […]

IEEFA update: Dwindling odds of success for retrofit of New Mexico coal plant with carbon capture

IEEFA update: Dwindling odds of success for retrofit of New Mexico coal plant with carbon capture

Barriers include recent failure of similar experimental project, oppositional market forces, no known investors, no customer base, nowhere to sequester emissions

Sept. 16, 2020 (IEEFA) — The proposed retrofit with carbon capture technology of a coal-fired power plant in San Juan County, N.M., shows dwindling chances of success, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The analysis concludes that the plan is most likely a lost […]

IEEFA U.S.: Long-term contracts with AMP are ‘financial disaster’ for Cleveland Public Power customers

IEEFA U.S.: Long-term contracts with AMP are ‘financial disaster’ for Cleveland Public Power customers

Utility’s reliance on two projects cost ratepayers an extra $106 million

September 11, 2020 (IEEFA) — Long-term contracts with American Municipal Power (AMP) have been “a financial disaster” for Cleveland Public Power (CPP) customers, according to a briefing note released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). About 70% of CPP’s expenditures for its total power supply are paid to AMP, an […]

More News and Commentary

Indiana utility brings 502MW of wind capacity online as part of 2028 coal exit plan

Northwest Indiana Times: Two new wind farms are now online and generating electricity for NIPSCO, the company announced Monday. The Indiana-based projects — Rosewater Wind in White County and Jordan Creek Wind in Benton and Warren counties — are generating enough electricity to power 125,000 homes, according to NIPSCO. He [NIPSCO President Mike Hooper] said […]

February 2, 2021 Read More →

NRG to mothball gas plant that powered Petra Nova carbon capture project

Reuters: NRG Energy Inc will shut down indefinitely the power source for what had been the only U.S. project capturing carbon from a coal-fired generator until it was idled last year, a spokesman said on Friday. The company notified the Texas grid operator, ERCOT, on Wednesday that the Petra Nova gas plant would be mothballed […]

February 1, 2021 Read More →

Tampa Electric to close 445MW Unit 3 at Big Bend coal plant in 2023, 18 years early

Florida Politics: Tampa Electric announced this week its plans to double the number of homes it powers by solar energy from 100,000 today to 200,000 by 2023. “These significant milestones are improving the land, water and air for all Tampa Electric customers,” said Nancy Tower, President and CEO of Tampa Electric. “We are saving our […]

January 22, 2021 Read More →

Florida city gives final approval to close 360MW McIntosh Unit 3 coal plant

The Ledger: Lakeland Electric got approval to move forward with decommissioning Unit 3 this March. It has struck a $23.4 million deal to close its power gap. Lakeland commissioners unanimously approved Lakeland Electric’s plan to begin decommissioning McIntosh Unit 3 on March 31, three years ahead of the prior timeframe of fall 2024. This will […]

January 22, 2021 Read More →
IEEFA U.S.: Colorado’s newest coal plant, needing extensive repairs (again), was idle for a year

IEEFA U.S.: Colorado’s newest coal plant, needing extensive repairs (again), was idle for a year

Utility commission launches investigation of Comanche Unit 3 costs; seamless replacement of power adds to case for early closure

Xcel Energy’s troubled Unit 3 at the Comanche Generating Station in Colorado was offline for almost an entire year after being closed for repairs—even as customers started paying the $11.7 million cost of fixing previous problems. The latest in a long saga of failures at Comanche 3 started on Jan. 13, 2020, when it was […]

January 15, 2021 Read More →

Florida Power & Light closes its last coal-fired power plant in the state

Power Engineering: Florida Power & Light’s last coal-fired plant in that state has officially closed. The formal retirement of Indiantown Cogeneration Plant came as the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31. FPL acquired the plant three years earlier for the sole purpose of shutting it down. FPL is owned by NextEra Energy Inc. Another NextEra […]

January 15, 2021 Read More →

Minnesota Power sets retirement dates for last coal plants, aims for 2050 carbon-free generation

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota Power will shutter and convert its last two coal power plants by 2035 as it moves toward a promised 100% carbon-free energy mix by 2050. The Duluth-based utility, which serves a broad swath of northeastern and central Minnesota, announced the timeline Tuesday ahead of the company filing a detailed 15-year plan […]

January 13, 2021 Read More →

Kentucky utilities seek replacement power for three retiring coal units

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($): Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co. are seeking generation capacity to meet a potential energy shortfall being created by the expected retirement of three coal units by 2028. The PPL Corp. subsidiaries expect to retire units 1 and 2 at the Mill Creek plant in Jefferson County, […]

January 12, 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 →