The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) announced that TXU is approved to idle its Monticello coal plant. ERCOT determined that taking the plant offline for the winter months will not cause any reliability issues for Texas’s electrical grid.
“ERCOT’s decision not to issue any Reliability Must Run (RMR) payments for TXU’s Monticello Plant shows that we don’t need the power from this antiquated plant in the winter and spring,” said Cyrus Reed, Acting Chapter Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Now, we all must work to grow new resources like solar, coastal wind and energy storage, as well as demand response so we can responsibly phase out Texas’s largest, oldest, and dirtiest coal plants, which continue to harm human health, dirty our air and waste our water resources.”
The Monticello coal plant, located in Titus County, is one of the state’s top sources of soot and smog emissions, which directly contributes to high smog, or ozone, levels in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. In fall 2011, TXU had threatened to idle the plant if new Environmental Protection Agency clean air standards were implemented. These standards were never implemented, yet TXU announced their plans to idle the plant during the winter months of this year because cheap natural gas and strong Texas wind power had driven down electricity prices. TXU’s parent company, Energy Future Holdings, released its earnings report for the third quarter of 2012 with more than $400 million in losses. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of losses.
“These aging, dirty plants can’t compete with newer, cleaner sources like Texas wind,” said Reed.
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