January 23, 2020 Read More →

Oklahoma utility makes it official, 650MW Oklaunion coal plant to close in October

RTO Insider:

Public Service Company of Oklahoma formally notified ERCOT on Tuesday that it will retire the coal-fired Oklaunion Power Station in the Texas Panhandle.

PSO filed a notification of suspension of operations for the plant, effective Oct. 1. Market participants have until Feb. 11 to file comments before the grid operator makes a final decision.

American Electric Power, PSO’s parent company and the plant’s operator and majority owner, said in September 2018 that it planned to shut down Oklaunion by October 2020 over concerns that the plant’s production costs were no longer competitive.

The 34-year-old, 650-MW plant’s ownership is split among utilities in both ERCOT and SPP. AEP Texas owns a 54.69% interest in the plant. The other owners are the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (17.97%) in South Texas, PSO (15.62%) and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (11.72%).

The retirement leaves ERCOT with 22 operational coal units, accounting for the mothballing of CPS Energy’s two J.T. Deeley units, which have 871 MW of capacity. ERCOT has lost almost 6 GW of coal-fired generation since 2017.

[Tom Kleckner]

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