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Despite opposition from U.S. President Donald Trump to closure of coal-fired power plants, the Tennessee Valley Authority is proposing to retire two coal plants by 2023, due to flat power demand challenging the coal plants’ profitability.
According to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) assessment, reported by Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Bull Run Fossil Plant in Oak Ridge and the Unit 3 generator at the Paradise Fossil Plant (PAF) in Kentucky should shut down.
“Assets that have relatively high projected future maintenance costs and environmental compliance expenditures, a high forced outage rate and poor generation portfolio fit, have been the focus of more detailed study for potential retirement. PAF falls into this category of assets,” the TVA says in a document examining the potential retirement of the Paradise coal plant, as provided by Chattanooga Times.
The TVA board is meeting on Thursday to discuss the fate of the two coal-fired power plants.
President Trump has been opposing the closure of coal plants and has been trying to prop up coal since he took office.
On Monday, President Trump tweeted “Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all factors before voting to close viable power plants, like Paradise #3 in Kentucky!”
Replying to President Trump’s tweet, the TVA tweeted later: “This is our response to the President's tweet earlier this evening: Mr. President, coal is an important part of TVA’s power generation mix and we will give serious consideration to all factors as we make this decision.”
In recent years, the rise of natural gas and renewables has been challenging coal plants, some of which have struggled to stay afloat amid stagnating power demand.
In its latest inventory of electric generators, the EIA said last month that wind, natural gas, and solar capacity will lead the new electricity capacity in the United States in 2019, while coal-fired generation will account for more than half of scheduled capacity retirements.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.