Idaho Power plans to phase out most of its coal-fired generation, partly because its plants are running less often amid persistently low prices for natural gas and renewables, according to the integrated resource plan the utility filed with state regulators in early July. The Boise-based utility said that instead of spending capital to install pollution controls on Jim Bridger units 1 and 2 in Wyoming, which total 1,060 MW, Idaho Power expects to retire them ahead of schedule — in 2032 and 2028, respectively. Idaho Power also has a 10 percent stake in the 640-megawatt coal-fired Boardman power plant in Oregon that is set to be retired at the end of 2020. And the utility is negotiating the early closure of the 568-MW coal-fired North Valmy plant in northern Nevada with co-owner NV Energy in 2019, a decade ahead of schedule.
- World abandoning coal-fired electricity
- “It’s purely economic. The plant guys tried everything they could to keep it open, but it was a money loser. In a competitive market, you’ve got to take these steps. This is a coal plant operating in a market that’s flooded with cheap natural gas.”
- Economics, not regs., are waging a war on coal
- Xcel Energy to retire coal-fired plants, increase renewables
- Coal-fired power plant jobs continue to fade
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