“While it appears $4.5 billion is a big number, if you built a central-station generation facility like a coal unit or something like that, it would be as big or bigger, but much more risky.”
– American Electric Power CEO Nick Akins, commenting on his company’s plans to spend $4.5 billion acquiring an 800-turbine Oklahoma wind project, the biggest in the United States.
“Because of the low natural gas prices and expanded renewable generating capacity, wholesale electric market prices over recent years have frequently been too low to merit economic dispatch of coal generating capacity.”
– From the 20-year integrated resource plan filed by Boise, Idaho-based Idaho Power with the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The utility’s plans include retiring its shares in at least three coal-burning power plants throughout the West.
The Mississippi Pubic Service Commission requests a “solution that eliminates ratepayer risk for unproven technology and assures no rate increase.”
– Mississippi Public Service Commission in a news release directed at Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power, in which it gave the utility 45 days to abandon its beleaguered and massively over-budget seven-year, $7.5 billion effort to construct a carbon-capture-and-storage coal-burning power plant.
“I’ve not spoken to a single utility that’s truly holding on to a future of more coal.”
– Brian Janous, who directs energy strategy at Microsoft, quoted in a story about the effect that Fortune 500 companies are having on the electricity sector as they commit to running their businesses on 100 percent renewable energy and pressure utilities to provide them the sources to do so.
“At the end of the day, West Virginia may not require us to be clean, but our customers are. So if we want to bring in those jobs – and those are good jobs, those are good-paying jobs … we have to be mindful of what our customers want.”
– Chris Beam, the new president of Appalachian Power, on historic changes in the electric power industry and why his company is not planning to build any more coal-burning power plants, choosing instead to emphasize cleaner sources of power.
“Our statutory duty is to produce electricity at the lowest feasible rate. … We weren’t trying to comply with the Clean Power Plan or anything else. What’s the cheapest way to serve the customer? It turned out to be retiring those coal plants.”
– Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson on how little Donald Trump’s pro-coal policies are likely to affect his utility’s plans. TVA is on track to retire five of its original 11 coal-fired power plants by the end of 2018.