By Joe Smyth | firstname.lastname@example.org | @joesmyth
Coal can't compete with cheap renewable energy
After more than a decade of efforts to dramatically expand the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, Kansas, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the principal backer, now considers it unlikely that the project will move forward.
The Holcomb coal plant expansion project received a key air permit in March, following a Kansas Supreme Court decision. As the economic reality facing the coal industry continues to make it less and less likely that new capacity will be added, Holcomb seemed to be a potential outlier; last month it was called “perhaps the most likely prospect for a major new coal plant in the United States.”
But without the support of Tri-State, a Colorado-based utility, prospects for the 895-megawatt coal unit are increasingly dim.
In an August 14 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tri-State reported that it had “assessed the probability of us entering into construction for the Holcomb Expansion as remote.” As a result, the utility reported that it had written off more than $93 million it spent trying to build the coal unit.
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