SELECTED PRESS RELEASE:
7/3/2012 1:43:56 PM EST
|King Coal under trouble
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King Coal having trouble
State Line Generating Station
Texas-based company specializing in demolishing power plants has bought State Line Energy.
The former coal plant at the northwestern tip of the city near Lake Michigan, stopped generating electricity in March after its then-owner, Dominion Resources, decided to shutter the plant in lieu of paying for costly environmental upgrades.
A Dominion spokesman confirmed the plant's sale to BTU Solutions of Sugar Land, Texas, on Thursday but would not disclose the sale amount.
The deal was structured to ensure the demolition of the former plant, which operated for more than 80 years, according to Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle.
BTU Solutions will demolish the facility in an 18- to-24-month period. The cost of demolition is estimated at $15 million to $25 million. The site's long-term use will be energy related. According to the BTU Solutions website, the company demolishes and handles environmental remediation of power plants, including a 1960s-era natural gas plant in Texas. The company also sells power generation facilities and equipment.
City officials say the State Line Energy site -- likely the single-largest source of asbestos in the city -- will require extensive remediation.
Decision Likely to Reduce U.S. Coal Plant Output
The federal appeals court decision to uphold the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) greenhouse gas rules will limit the use of coal for electricity generation and increase the nation's reliance on other fuel options. It will severely constrain the construction of future coal-fired plants. The U.S. Court of Appeals said the EPA was correct in using existing federal laws to reduce emissions of six gasses, including carbon dioxide, by denying two of the challenges and dismissing the others. The effects of these rules are expected to further strain the operations of older, smaller coal-fired plants already struggling to address imposed restrictions on other pollutants. Many of these plants may be prematurely retired, as significant new investment would be needed to meet prescribed emissions requirements. Most are located in the Midwest and central states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. There could be a continued reduction in the use of coal as a fuel and an increase in the use of natural gas. Fuel price dynamics have already begun a large shift for some electricity producers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in April 2011, almost twice as much of U.S. net power output was generated from coal than natural gas-fired units. In April 2012, they contributed nearly the same.
Commercial Energy Consultants LLC
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