April 27, 2020 Read More →

Longview Power bankruptcy is canary in coal mine for industry

NS Energy:

The recent bankruptcy filing of Longview Power is an indication of the “increasingly dire state” of the US coal industry, says an energy analyst.

The firm’s primary asset is the 700-megawatt (MW) Longview Power Plant in Appalachian coal country near the city of Morgantown, West Virginia.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which conducts research and analyses into issues related to energy and the environment, believes the failure of the project “offers a harsh glimpse” into the problems the industry is facing in the US.

This, the IEEFA claims, is because the Longview Power Plant has “much more going for it than most coal-fired plants in the US,” of which many are “far older, less efficient, and pay more to get their coal delivered.”

According to the analysis, the plant was supposed to offer a “superior operating model” compared to older sites and, in 2012, it was estimated to be 18% more efficient than the average coal plant in the Pennsylvania, Jersey and Maryland Power Pool (PJM).

“Its efficiency and young age allow it to run nearly all the time, spreading its fixed costs over many more hours of generation — just the opposite of other coal-fired plants — and making it more competitive,” added IEEFA.

“From 2016 through to 2019, the plant has averaged an 83% capacity factor, among the highest for coal plants anywhere in the country, and it ran at close to 100% for many of those months.

“Financially, then, this plant should be in good shape. But it isn’t, sending a clear signal that coal-fired power is simply no longer competitive in US electric markets.” 

[James Murray]

More: Longview Power’s bankruptcy indicates ‘dire state’ of the US coal industry 

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

Comments are closed.