New study: renewables are now cheaper than coal
Does it matter in West Virginia where coal is still “king”?
The Guardian reports the results from a new study:
US renewable energy farms outstrip 99% of coal plants economically – study https://t.co/wy2sxNfJCi— Guardian news (@guardiannews) January 30, 2023
From that article:
Coal in the US is now being economically outmatched by renewables to such an extent that it’s more expensive for 99% of the country’s coal-fired power plants to keep running than it is to build an entirely new solar or wind energy operation nearby, a new analysis has found.
The plummeting cost of renewable energy, which has been supercharged by last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, means that it is cheaper to build an array of solar panels or a cluster of new wind turbines and connect them to the grid than it is to keep operating all of the 210 coal plants in the contiguous US, bar one, according to the study.
So far, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is the only media outlet in West Virginia reporting this:
Report: Renewables Now Cheaper Than Coal Plants In West Virginia https://t.co/v8e5FPqVIV— WVPB News (@wvpublicnews) January 31, 2023
(Hopefully, no one at WVPB will lose their job over publishing this.)
On the other hand, I found this headline on the front page of today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail disturbing:
Solar power project ditched
With this sub-headline:
Plan no longer ‘economically viable’: may affect Nucor steel deal
The article by energy/environment writer Mike Tony begins:
Appalachian Power has terminated its first project under state law enabling utility-scale solar development in West Virginia, a year after proposing the project and seven months after it was approved.
Joined by Wheeling Power, Appalachian Power filed notice Friday with the state Public Service Commission of the termination of what was planned to be a 50-megawatt solar facility to be constructed in Berkeley County by a New York-based company.
Appalachian Power, Wheeling Power and renewable utility-scale energy project developer D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) terminated the purchase and sales agreement supporting the project. In June, the PSC had approved Appalachian Power’s request to purchase and recover the costs of buying the facility to be constructed by DESRI.
Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye said the developer lost access to some of the leased land on which the development was planned, which would have reduced the facility’s generating capacity by 30%, from 50 megawatts to 35 megawatts.
The article later suggests that the decision may also affect the $2.7 billion Nucor sheet project scheduled for Mason County.
In a state where coal controls just about everything, why do I have doubts that we are getting the full story on this? Additionally, this happened on Friday. So why hasn't this been on the front-page of our Ogden papers?