news by location
Coal power slippage signals the end of an era
The latest plant retirement announcements—in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wisconsin—highlight how coal continues to lose its historical stature as a baseload source of electricity.
Op-ed: A Plains-state template for just transition
As the ongoing and “inevitable” decline of coal proceeds, the former lieutenant governor of North Dakota calls for foresight and planning, citing post-coal initiatives in Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington.
Infrequently-used Nebraska coal plant is one of many in trouble
A coal-fired power plant that has historically been a key part of Nebraska’s electricity network is being used less and less as grid operators turn increasingly to cheaper wind- and solar-generation power. Analysts say the Gentleman coal plant, which is almost 40 years old, is like many in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota that are no longer cost-competitive. “These plants were designed to run at, or near, full capacity,” said a plant manager for the Nebraska Public Power District. “We aren’t doing that much anymore.”
Employee buyouts at North Dakota coal-gasification plant
“Amid a plummeting financial outlook,” Basin Electric Power Cooperative, whose subsidiary Dakota Gasification Co. operates the struggling Great Plains Synfuels Plant in west-central North Dakota, is offering buyouts to more than 300 people. The plant, which turns coal into synthetic natural gas, is having trouble making ends meet because it cannot compete with cheap natural gas produced by Bakken oil field frackers. “Markets have been changing so fast it was time to take additional steps,” a company spokesman said.