Industry News: 40 Percent of Texas Coal Generation Could Be Retired

September 21, 2016

A recent report from the Public Citizen and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) is predicting that seven of Texas’ nineteen coal plants are losing money and could be closed if wholesale power prices don’t rebound. The report puts the monetary losses at $160 million annually. 

Coal is generating less power and receiving less revenue for what it does produce, putting about a third of the state's plants at risk of closure according to a new report.

According to the report, more than a half dozen plants are at risk, including three owned by public utilities, three by Luminant and one by Dynergy. 

In addition to cheap gas, emissions regulations are forcing plants to install costly upgrades. The EPA's regional haze rule will require changes to 13 coal units and could push up to 5 GW of retirements in the next five years, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ 2016 Long-Term System Assessment. The IEEFA report notes that four of the merchant plants examined in the report will need to make improvements.

The grid operator expects coal to account for less than 10% of its capacity mix by 2031, and in nearly every scenario, it is solar that makes up the loss. Additions of between 14.5 GW and 27 GW of solar capacity are projected, ERCOT said this summer.

This summer, El Paso Electric announced that it would no longer be burning coal for electricity generation. It becomes the only utility in Texas and New Mexico to make that decision.

Click here to read a copy of the report.

Source: Institute of Clean Air Companies (ICAC)