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New NARUC Report Encourages Financial Recovery for Increased Coal Plant Cycling Damage Due to Underutilization

image credit: utilitydive.com

A new NARUC report finds that capacity factors at US coal plants dropped from 74% in 2008 to 54% in 2018. The report suggests that financial markets should respond - but how? Coal plants now face 2 options: shut down completely or change output to match system needs (cycle) but there is no financial mechanism to pay for increased cycling due to the various factors such as system load, renewables, fuel prices, etc. One approach would be to first determine the cost of the cycling and then determine the cycling causes for each plant facing the options dilemma above. Then use the cycling causality information to assess a cycling tax on those drivers causing the damage. I will be presenting on these topics at the upcoming 2020 Electric Power Conference in Denver on April 16th at a session called "Economics of Cycling". Join in the conversation!

James (Jim) Schetter's picture

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