In America’s Wind Corridor, a Boom Imperils Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:In the nation’s wind corridor, power purchase agreements are being signed for less than 2 cents a kilowatt-hour. Even adding transmission costs, wind energy is undercutting competition from existing coal and nuclear plants.Clean energy advocates and research analysts pointed out the trend in recent reports. A Moody’s Investors Service report this spring estimated that 56 gigawatts of coal capacity in the Great Plains is “at risk” from cheaper wind energy. Yesterday, the Union of Concerned Scientists identified 57 GW of coal generation that is uneconomical compared with gas-fired generation.Utilities are backing it up with their own numbers. Last month, Ameren Missouri, a coal-dependent utility with 1.2 million customers, filed a long-range plan with state regulators that showed the leveled cost of energy from new wind projects, including the federal production tax credit, was below the cost of energy from the company’s existing coal and nuclear plants.The data in the utility’s integrated resource plan support the decision to add 700 megawatts of wind energy by the end of the decade (Energywire, Sept. 26). Ameren does not, however, plan to accelerate retirement of any coal plants.The announcement is just one in a long list of new wind additions by utilities from West Texas to the Dakotas.In nearly every instance, utility decisions to invest in new wind farms are driven by low costs and the ability to add generation and hedge fuel costs without raising customer bills.Take Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. The company already operates 4 GW of wind energy and will increase that to more than 10 GW after announced projects are completed.“None of that is being driven based on [environmental] compliance,” said Jonathan Adelman, Xcel’s area vice president of strategic resource and business planning. “Economics are driving it.”More: Carbon rule or not, wind energy continues to squeeze coal In America’s Wind Corridor, a Boom Imperils Coallast_img read more

Chelsea bow out of Champions League

first_imgThe two sides will go head-to-head in Anfield for the first-leg of their clash, which has a five-past eight kick-off.Also this evening, Tottenham’s remarkable season continues as they travel to face Borrusia Dortmund in the first-leg of their last-16 contest, which starts at 6pm. Chelsea’s European season came to a grinding halt last night as P-S-G dumped them out of the Champions League.The French side were 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge to complete a 4-2 aggregate victory.Later this evening, Liverpool and Manchester United will take their rivalry into the last-16 of the Europa League.last_img read more