PacifiCorp analysis shows major economic benefits from closing Naughton, Bridger coal plants

first_imgPacifiCorp analysis shows major economic benefits from closing Naughton, Bridger coal plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Oregon Public Broadcasting:An energy company with hundreds of thousands of Oregon and Washington customers is considering the early retirement of some of its coal-burning operations.PacifiCorp released a new economic analysis Thursday that says its customers could save about $248 million over 20 years if the company decides to retire four of its Wyoming coal units by 2022. That would mean closing one coal-fired plant and reducing another plant’s capacity by half.PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely said any electricity production lost from the retirement of coal operations would be made up in other ways, possibly with energy from wind, solar and natural gas.Burning coal is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Coal currently accounts for 60 percent of the electricity that PacifiCorp provides to its customers. The company already is moving away from coal, Gravely says. But the new study suggests this move could happen faster than previously planned. “There is interest in seeing that happen,” he said.Sophie Hayes, a senior staff attorney with Western Resource Advocates, said the new study is part of a larger economic trend for coal-fired power plants. “Coal plants across the West are becoming increasingly uneconomic as renewable energy costs and natural gas prices continue to drop,” said Hayes, whose organization advocates for clean air, water and land. “This will also help protect the health and welfare of our families and future generations.”More: A Northwest utility considers early retirement for some coal operationslast_img

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