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TVA burns last coal at 1,150MW Paradise plant

TVA burns last coal at 1,150MW Paradise plant
President Donald Trump tried to stop it from happening. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, did too.

Despite their best efforts to make good on Trump’s campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, including an eleventh-hour pressure campaign, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month.

The plant’s closure — in a county that once mined more coal than any other in the nation — is emblematic of the industry’s decades long decline due to tougher environmental regulations, a major push toward renewable energy and a rise in the extraction of natural gas. The shuttering of businesses nationwide and a reduced need for energy amid the global coronavirus pandemic threatens to deal coal yet another devastating blow.

When coal-burning plants close, coal mining loses its best customer. Since 2010, 500 coal-burning units, or boilers, at power plants have been shut down and nearly half the nation’s coal mines have closed. No U.S. energy company, big or small, is building a new coal-burning plant.

Electric utilities are telling investors and customers that coal costs too much, mostly because of the money it costs to offset environmental effects, such as the release of carbon dioxide. Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, informed its clients in January that it would no longer invest in companies that get more than 25% of their revenue from burning coal.

When the TVA announced it was shutting down the Paradise plant last year, Trump ally and then-Gov. Matt Bevin held a rally in the county, while Senate Majority Leader McConnell publicly urged the board to keep the unit open in his home state. Seemingly working in their favor was that four of the seven board members had been appointed by Trump. But even that wasn’t enough. The Paradise plant’s last coal-burning unit was closed by the Trump-majority board, because of a TVA staff recommendation that keeping the plant open didn’t make economic sense.

[Dylan Lovan]

More: Iconic plant’s end spells doom for struggling coal industry

 

FILE – In a June 3, 2014, photo, the Paradise Fossil Plant stands in Drakesboro Ky. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan, File)

 

Source:  IEEFA 

By:  Associated Press:

LINK:  https://ieefa.org/tva-burns-last-coal-at-1150mw-paradise-plant/?utm_source=Daily+IEEFA+Newsletter&utm_campaign=38bf22e69e-IEEFA_DailyDigest&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e793f87bcc-38bf22e69e-1286959

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New York’s Last Coal-Fired Power Plant Is Closing

The community is fearful of what will happen once it shutters.

Mike Adinolfe, 41, has worked at the Somerset Operating Company, New York’s last coal plant, in Barker, for his whole adult life.Credit…

BARKER, N.Y. — It is the last coal-fired power plant in New York State. White steam trails from its smokestack like a banner flying in the wind, visible for miles across flat farm fields near Lake Ontario. But not for long.

Sometime this month, the 44 remaining workers at the Somerset Operating Company will power it down for the last time. They have long planned to gather ceremonially in a cavernous hall, beside the plant’s roaring turbine, as it goes quiet, but now coronavirus restrictions may deny them that moment of closure.

“This plant is my life,” Darlene Lutz, 60, said, then burst into tears. She started out shoveling coal, then rose to become the plant’s first and only female operating-room engineer. She had even persuaded her husband to take a job there.

Mike Adinolfe, 41, has worked at the Somerset Operating Company, New York’s last coal plant, in Barker, for his whole adult life.
Mike Adinolfe, 41, has worked at the Somerset Operating Company, New York’s last coal plant, in Barker, for his whole adult life.

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