2 TX Coal Plants Slated to Close

Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 05:10 PM gHale

Texas utility, Luminant, plans to shut down two large coal-fired power plants in the state, officials said Friday.

Luminant said it would shut down its two-unit Sandow Power Plant near Austin and two-unit Big Brown Power Plant between Dallas and Houston in early 2018.

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The two power plants have a generating capacity of 2,300 megawatts. The company had previously announced its plan to take a third coal-fired facility offline, meaning 2.1 million Texas homes will no longer be powered by coal.

The plants are “economically challenged,” because of low wholesale power prices, the expansion of renewable electricity and the low cost of natural gas, the company said.

“This announcement is a difficult one to make,” said Curt Morgan, the president and chief executive of Luminant parent company Vistra Energy.

“It is never easy to announce an action that has a significant impact on our people. Though the long-term economic viability of these plants has been in question for some time, our year-long analysis indicates this announcement is now necessary,” he said.

Market factors — including cheap natural gas and the growth of renewables — have taken their toll on the American coal industry.

The two closures in Texas mean more than half the country’s coal-fired power plants have closed, or have committed to closing, since 2010.

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