Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Nearly 60% of Kentucky's coal-fired plants will be gone by 2040; one-third will reach end of lifespan

"More than 58 percent of Kentucky’s coal fired power plants have already made plans to close by 2020 or will likely retire by 2030 or 2040 due to their ages," Erica Peterson reports for WFPL 89.3 in Louisville. Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030 will force about 25 percent of Kentucky's plants "to shut shut down or convert to natural gas, rather than install pollution controls to comply with the regulation." (WFPL graphic: The future of Kentucky's coal-fired plants)

"In addition to those closures, the state is predicting about 33 percent of Kentucky’s coal capacity won’t be around by 2040," Peterson writes. "And that’s not because of regulations—it’s because of age. Coal-fired power plants have an average lifespan of 65 years, and Kentucky’s coal fleet is aging. The state estimates that 5,830 coal-fired megawatts will be taken offline by 2040 simply because the plants will be old and inefficient by then." (Read more)

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