MT Coal Plant to Shut Down

Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 03:02 PM gHale

PPL Montana will permanently shut down its J.E. Corette Power Plant in Billings, MT.

The company re-evaluated a 2012 decision to mothball the plant and retain the option to restart it, if wholesale power market conditions in the Northwest changed.

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But the estimated cost of upgrades needed to put the plant back in service has increased significantly since then and wholesale power prices in the Northwest remain low, said the division of PPL Corp.

The plant will be retired in August. The 153-megawatt power plant, which uses low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, began operation in 1968.

This move is following the trend of power companies shutting down coal-powered facilities or converting them to gas-generated plants.

In August, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted to retire the coal-fired Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis, TN, and replace it with a natural-gas facility.

TVA committed to install emission controls or retire Allen’s coal units by December 2018 under a 2011 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce emissions across its coal-fired generating fleet.

Environmental groups said the Allen plant causes a pollution hazard and the TVA should shut it down and replace it with a facility that generates cleaner energy.

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