October 12, 2021 Read More →

Illinois city to close coal plant two years early rather than repair it

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The city of Springfield, Ill., is closing a unit of the Dallman coal plant early, citing repair costs.

The city said the 192-MW Unit 33, located in the Midcontinent ISO’s territory, was initially scheduled to close Sept. 15, 2023. Damage to the unit in June forced the generator offline, necessitating repairs that are “too costly” to justify keeping the unit open, the City Water, Light and Power division, or CWLP, said in an Oct. 7 announcement.

Even if repairs allowed the unit to restart, “other operational risks” would have remained.

“With extensive damage to the turbine, repair costs over the $1 [million] mark and the current personnel constraints we face, further operation of Dallman 33 isn’t feasible,” Doug Brown, CWLP chief utility engineer, said in the announcement. “While these decisions are tough, the damage to the unit makes it clear that now is the time to begin suspension of operations and work to transition affected jobs.”

The unit employed 30 workers, whom the city said it will help transition to other employment.

The 200-MW Unit 4 will serve as the plant’s sole operating unit, the city said. Springfield retired Units 31 and 32 in December 2020. The city said, “Dallman Unit 4 and the utility’s peaking units can cover all of CWLP customer load nearly 100 percent of the time.” The city brought Unit 4 online in 2009.

[Justin Horwath]

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