April 17, 2020 Read More →

Longview Power, model West Virginia coal plant, files for bankruptcy again


Longview Power Plant, in the heart of Appalachian coal country near Morgantown, West Virginia, has just declared bankruptcy, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). This is the second time in 10 years that Longview, considered a model project, has filed for bankruptcy.

The nine-year-old, 700-megawatt Longview Power Plant was one of the newest, most efficient coal-burning plants in the country. It was commissioned in December 2011 at a cost of $2.1 billion. It is near the coal mine that supplies it, keeping transport and fuel costs low. Longview is a “co‐fired” plant, meaning it can burn both coal and natural gas, although coal is its primary fuel.

During the first quarter of 2020, most utilities have slashed the use of coal to the lowest levels in decades, as measured by market share of electricity generation: 19.9% in January, 18.5% in February, and 17.1% in March. Compare that to more than 50% in first-quarter 2008.

Bottom line? When it comes to fossil fuels, gas is cheaper than coal now. 

[Michelle Lewis]

More: EGEB: One of the US’ newest, most efficient coal plants has just gone bankrupt

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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