An electrical cooperative that gives wholesale energy and companies to clients in 22 counties in western Kentucky has instructed state regulators it intends to finish an working settlement at a 312-MW coal-fired plant in Henderson, which might result in the plant’s retirement.

Big Rivers Electric on May 1 instructed the state Public Service Commission (PSC) and Henderson Municipal Power & Light (HMP&L), which owns the Station Two plant, that it desires PSC approval to finish its contract with the ability. Big Rivers has operated Station Two for the reason that plant got here on-line in 1972. A spokeswoman for Big Rivers instructed S&P Global Platts that the ability has “skilled losses for a number of years” and may not be operated “in an financial method.”

HMP&L’s choices for the plant embrace retirement, maybe as early as 2019. The company additionally might search for one other operator or start shopping for wholesale energy from the market. HMP&L at current reserves 115 MW of the plant’s technology; Big River sells the remaining on the open market. The energy buy settlement was initially reached in 1998. The metropolis of Henderson and Big Rivers have been at odds for years relating to rights to promote the facility not utilized by HMP&L.

The Big Rivers’ spokeswoman mentioned the co-op’s present coal provide offers are anticipated to run out earlier than the top of May 2019. The firm mentioned it can proceed to personal and function its different coal-fired vegetation in Kentucky, 4 amenities which in whole have 1,444 MW of technology capability.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), coal-fired technology produced 85% of Kentucky’s electrical energy in February 2017, however that stage had dropped to about 74% in February 2018. About 10% of the state’s technology got here from pure fuel in 2016, an all-time excessive for the state and a quantity persevering with to rise as extra gas-fired technology is added and extra coal vegetation are retired or transformed to fuel.

Renewable power is also making inroads in a state lengthy tied to coal. Duke Energy in late April introduced two photo voltaic farms—Walton Solar Power Plants 1 and a pair of, in Kenton County—on-line to serve clients in northern Kentucky. The two vegetation have whole technology capability of about four MW. Duke in December unveiled the two.7-MW Crittenden Solar Power Plant in Grant County.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative, a member-owned utility that has operated within the coronary heart of the state’s coal-mining area since 1941, final summer time mentioned its coal-fired technology had fallen to about 70% of its useful resource combine, down from greater than 90%. The utility additionally put in a photo voltaic area with greater than 32,000 panels on its headquarters property in Winchester, Kentucky, final 12 months.

Darrell Proctor is a POWER affiliate editor (@DarrellProctor1, @POWERmagazine).

The submit Kentucky Coal Plant’s Future in Doubt appeared first on POWER Magazine.

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