We Energies confirmed Wednesday that it ideas to retire its 1,190-MW
Pleasant Prairie coal-fired plant in Kenosha County in southeastern Wisconsin
in the next quarter of 2018, but industry observers differ above the energy
price tag impact of the choice.
A device of WEC Electricity Team, We Energies achieved with staff at the Pleasurable
Prairie plant on Tuesday to focus on plans for the plant, which has been
working on a seasonal basis due to the fact January. The to start with of the two coal units
went into operation in 1980, and the 2nd in 1985.
“It would not seriously shock me,” stated Michael Rutkowski, controlling director of
the Navigant consultancy’s electrical power exercise, in an electronic mail Wednesday. “With
continued very low fuel cost anticipations and the comparatively superior fastened [operations
and maintenance] expense that arrives with operating coal crops, there are other
solutions accessible in the [Midcontinent Independent System Operator] marketplace for
assembly WEC’s power and ability demands.”
Rutkowski reported the retirement of the Enjoyable Prairie plant would most likely only
have an effect on selling prices throughout the peak wintertime and summer time intervals, “and offered the
recent capacity predicament in MISO, I would be expecting price tag impacts to be minor.”
But Matthew Cordaro, a previous MISO CEO who now resides in New York, said that
“the elimination of a large block of coal ability will in the long run outcome in
an enhance in electrical power price ranges” due to the fact organic gasoline-fired era and
renewables would confront significantly less competition.
The Nice Prairie plant in 2016 experienced a ability component of about 58% and a
warmth rate of about 11 MMBtu/MWh, according to S&P International Market place Intelligence’s
electricity plant database.
We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty mentioned the retirement choice was “mostly
… pushed by economics.”
Such variables bundled sustained small organic gas selling prices, the minimized value of
renewable ability and “limited or no development in electrical energy demand from customers,” McNulty
Trying to get TO Slash CO2 EMISSIONS BY 40%
“Definitely, we have a motivation to lessen our carbon footprint,” McNulty mentioned.
“We’re reshaping our technology fleet towards a lot more cleanse output.”
We Energies has established a aim of cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by 40% from
2005 levels by 2020, McNulty explained.
One particular stage in that has been the determination to develop 350 MW of utility-scale
photo voltaic by 2020, but We Energies has not still picked web sites or a companion for the
venture, McNulty claimed.
Navigant’s Rutkowski claimed expanding use of photo voltaic electric power “is regular with
“The scale and speed is considerably astonishing, having said that,” Rutkowski stated, incorporating
that “350 MW of solar in a tiny above two many years would place them in the ranks
of one of the much larger [investor-owned utility] photo voltaic portfolios.”
Sean Gallagher, Photo voltaic Strength Industries Affiliation vice president of condition
affairs, referred to as We Energies’ steps with regards to the coal plant and solar
progress “very good information for Wisconsin consumers.”
“Retiring aged, inefficient coal vegetation makes financial perception, as does increasing
the state’s solar portfolio,” Gallagher reported in an e mail Wednesday. “In several
elements of the region, solar is now the lowest priced electricity solution.”
RETIREMENT Runs COUNTER TO FEDERAL Endeavours
We Energies confirmed its strategies to retire the Pleasurable Prairie coal plant even
as the Trump administration ramps up initiatives built to reverse what some
have termed the Obama administration’s “war on coal.”
For instance, US Environmental Safety Agency this week conducted community
hearings about the proposed repeal of the Clean Electric power Approach in Charleston, West
Virginia, which scientists at the RBAC and EPIS electricity forecasting companies have
demonstrated would have lessened coal energy by about 15% by 2040.
And the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission faces a December 11 deadline
to answer to a ask for from the US Section of Strength for a observe of
proposed rulemaking that would demand electricity marketplaces to compensate turbines
that keep 90 days’ provide of fuel on hand.
And as the two chambers of the US Congress wrangle in excess of a proposed huge tax
overhaul, photo voltaic expense tax credits and wind manufacturing tax credits may perhaps be
Cordaro, the former MISO CEO, said these actions at the federal amount “could
undermine the economic rationale for retiring the [Pleasant Prairie] device.”
But McNulty reported the retirement of the Nice Prairie plant would occur
“no matter of what is currently being finished in Washington.”
–Mark Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org