Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Coal's Bad Year

As we start a new year, it always good to look back on the year that has passed us by – and it’s been a bad year for coal!

Here’s hoping 2008 is even worse and that Santee Cooper abandons its ill-considered plan to move forward with a massive coal-burning facility.

Meanwhile, take a look at the list of proposed coal plants that were stopped last year (from grist.org):

• Sunflower Electric Power Corporation (Kansas) - proposed 1,400 megawatt (MW) coal plant denied air permit by Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) due to concerns about global warming. The Director of KDHE stated that it would be "irresponsible" to ignore global warming concerns when evaluating whether to build a new plant. October 2007.

• Southwestern Power Group’s Bowie Power Station (Arizona) - proposed 600 MW IGCC coal plant canceled by company in favor of pursuing a natural gas fired plant, in part because of market economics and regulatory uncertainty. September 2007.

• Florida Power & Light’s Glades Power Plant (Florida) - proposed 1,960 MW power plant rejected by Florida Public Service Commission due, in part, to the uncertainty over the cost of future carbon regulations. July 2007.

• American Electric Power and Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s Red Rock Generating Station (Oklahoma) - proposed 950 MW plant rejected by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for failure to evaluate alternatives such as natural gas. September 2007.

• Tenaska’s Sallisaw Electric Generating Plant (Oklahoma) - company cancelled its plans to build a 660-880 MW plant on the grounds that it is not economically viable. July 2007.

• Peabody Coal Company’s Thoroughbred Generating Station (Kentucky) - air permit for 1500 MW plant reversed by Franklin Circuit Court due to inadequate air pollution control analysis. August 2007.

• Seminole Electric Power Cooperative’s Seminole 3 Generating Station (Florida) - proposed 750 MW plant rejected by Florida Department of Environmental Protection on the grounds that the plant would not minimize environmental and public health impacts, and would not serve the public interest. August 2007.

• Great Northern Power Development’s South Heart Power Project (North Dakota) - applicant withdrew air permit application for 500 MW plant. August 2007.

• Florida Municipal Power Agency’s Taylor Energy Center (Florida) - proposed 800 MW plant withdrawn by applicant shortly after Florida PSC denied application for Glades Power Plant. July 2007.

• TXU Corporation (Texas) (March 2007) - as part of a buyout of TXU Corporation by private equity firms, TXU announced that it would abandon plans for eight out of eleven proposed plants in Texas. July 2007.

• Duke Energy’s Cliffside Steam Station Modernization (North Carolina) - proposal for one of two 800 MW coal-fired plants rejected by North Carolina Utilities Commission, due to increase in estimated construction costs. March 2007.

• Westar Energy’s Coal Plant Project (Kansas) - company deferred plan for new 600 MW plant because of significant increase in estimated construction costs. December 2006.14 Westar later launched a 300 MW wind power project, Kansas’ largest. Wind project is expected to be producing energy by the end of 2008, with possibility of an additional 200 MW available by year end 2010. October 2007.

• Idaho Power (Idaho) - company canceled plans produce 250 MW from coal-fired plants by 2013; adopted new plans to develop a natural gas turbine in Idaho by 2012, and to add 101 MW of wind power and 45.5 MW of geothermal power by 2011. November 2007.

• Avista Utilities (Washington) - company plans to sell more electricity generated by natural gas plants and wind turbines, and not invest in new coal power plants. Avista’s twenty-year plan, as submitted to the state government, includes the sale of some 275 MW available from a natural-gas power plant in Lancaster, WA. September 2007.

• Xcel Energy (Colorado) - company agreed to obtain 775 MW of wind power to supplement power from 750 MW coal plant it is building near Pueblo, CO. July 2007.

• Xcel Energy (Colorado) - company plans to roughly double its renewable generation capacity by 2015 and close two coal-burning plants in the state, the Araphoe Generating Station in Denver and the Cameo Generating Station east of Grand Junction.


Lawrence said...

just curious, how many coal plants did get approval in 07?

Anonymous said...

This probably isn't the best place to get that question answered, but based on this, looks like at least 4 were permitted (3 in Texas, 1 in North Carolina).

Anonymous said...

There was also 1 in Arkansas, 1 in Nevada and 1 in Kentucky.

Anonymous2 said...

Hey, it looks like those "fighting the good fight" (to raise your electricity bills by blocking coal plants) got more bad news today:

From Bloomberg News:

"Dynegy Inc. and LS Power Group's plans for Georgia's first coal-fueled plant in more than two decades advanced as an administrative law judge upheld the $2 billion project's air-pollution permit.

Georgia environmental regulators acted correctly in approving the 1,200-megawatt Longleaf plant, Judge Stephanie Howells said in a ruling issued today. The plant would be located in rural Early County, about 80 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Fla."

Ref -

What these guys want to do is string out utility companies and make it too expensive and/or business risky to continue to permit a coal plant. The reason is that when a utility company sticks it out and goes to court over the permit with the "conservation community", the enviros LOSE. Just like they did in the Dynergy case here.

Sorry guys. Keep holding up those signs!