Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coal Power on the Way Out in Delaware

The announcement last week that Pepco Holdings is selling Conectiv to Texas based Calpine included some good news for those who care about clean air. The News Journal reported that Calpine plans to stop burning coal at the Edge Moor/Hay Road power plants:
The cessation of coal-burning at Edgemoor is good environmental news, said former Delaware natural resources secretary Nicholas DiPasquale. Natural gas doesn't have nearly the same level of pollution, including carbon emissions, he said.
According to the 2008 Toxic Release Inventory, the Edge Moor/Hay Road Power Plants ranked second in air emissions, behind Indian River. Indian River and Edge Moor/Hay Road together accounted for 75 percent of air emissions in 2008.
NRG plans to close down three of its four coal burning units at Indian River in the next three years and install new controls on Unit 4 next year. Under plans negotiated with the department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, Units 1 and 2 will be shut down next year, and Unit 3 will be closed by 2013. NRG will spend $360 million to install the new controls on Unit 4.
So emissions from the two largest coal burning power plants in Delaware will be drastically curtailed over the next three years.
The 150 jobs that will be eliminated by Calpine have nothing to do with the decision to stop burning coal. The jobs are mostly energy trader positions; Calpine has a sizable energy trading operation back in Texas.
The decisions by two large energy companies to burn far less coal in Delaware will mean much cleaner air for us to breathe.

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