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Another 6800 MW of Coal Plants Destined for the Ash Heap

Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Principal, NorthBridge Energy Partners, LLC

Peter Kelly-Detwiler has nearly 30 years of experience in the area of electric energy, retail power, and distributed energy assets. Mr. Kelly-Detwiler provides strategic expertise in the areas of...

  • Member since 2015
  • 121 items added with 40,466 views
  • Oct 6, 2020
  • 912 views

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Vistra announces more coal closures and a move to renewables; LONGi bringing 12 GWs of annual manufacturing online to produce 540 watt bi-facial modules; Dominion/Orsted commission 12 MW Virginia offshore wind project; FERC holds hearings on carbon pricing

1) Vistra to retire 6,800 MW of coal plants in IL & OH, bringing total of existing or planned retirements to 16,000 MW change in leadership in 2016. It also announces portfolio of nearly 1,000 MW of solar, storage, and solar+storage, mostly in ERCOT.  

2) Major cell/module maker LONGi achieves volume production - 12 GW - for 540 w bifacial Hi-MO5 series module @ 21% conversion efficiency. Back side offers another 15% additional total energy gain. Put into context, 2019 U.S. solar was 13.3 GW.

3) Dominion Energy/Orsted commissions 12MW offshore wind facility "Coastal Virginia," w/2x6 SG turbines. First offshore project in federal waters. Next up for Dominion, its 2.6 GW offshore wind facility in 2024. 

4) FERC holds carbon pricing conference in an effort to find common ground between state policies & wholesale markets. Agreement among many that carbon pricing an efficient approach but a long way to go.

 

Discussions
Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 6, 2020

Thanks Peter-- I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on what was pointed out by another Energy Central member about how the actions were spread across MISO and PJM and there may be some odd accounting going on to claim greater 'green' results: https://energycentral.com/c/um/vistra-begrudgingly-closes-68-gw-coal-claims-it%E2%80%99s-now-green

Peter Kelly-Detwiler's picture
Peter Kelly-Detwiler on Oct 7, 2020

I like the thinking in that commentary, although there is no such thing as a 'protest closure' to make a point.  If you're under water and you think you will need snorkel in the future, you close your plants.  If not, you stay open.  As far as the move to ERCOT, that's the place to go for solar for about the next five years until it gets overbuilt and the covariance risk begins to really kick in, when so many other plants are producing at the same time they begin putting pressure on prices.  For now, though, the ERCOT overlap between peak demand, high prices, and solar output is quite strong.  As are capacity factors, which are over 1.5x a place like PA.  If I had solar chips in hand today, I would be placiung many of them on the cherboard squares labeled ERCOT.

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