“Impacts from climate change are happening now. Things that we depend upon and value — water, energy, transportation, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and human health — are experiencing the effects of a changing climate.” (Source) The future of weather and climate have arrived.
Time is running out, on a faster pace than we thought. We must press power companies to change to the cleanest operations possible to address our well-being.
Some energy companies are already building the new power system. Coal-fired power – more than 64,000 MW – has retired between from early 2015 and to the end of 2020. (Source)
It’s time to put some numbers side-by-side in the Southeast to see who has entered this race. Let’s look at one measure.
Coal is first on the list for change. Companies are announcing their plans to dump coal from their generation portfolios. That’s positive. Some companies take clear, deliberate actions. Even more positive.
Take what happened this past New Year’s Eve. Florida Power & Light closed its last coal-fired plant in that state. Get this – FPL bought the plant for the purpose of shutting it down.
Check this. Since 2010 Duke Energy retired 51 coal units – more than 6,500 MW – and plans to retire at least 900 MW more by the end of 2024.
So, coal looks like this now according to public information:
Coal as a Percent of Generation
- Santee Cooper 38%
- Duke Energy 27%
- Southern Company 22%
- Dominion Energy 10%
- NextEra Energy 02%
Add it up. The regulated utilities are doing the right thing and doing it fast. Santee Cooper promises to close coal plants. Promises. Promises have not panned out in the past. Now, customer health and security are in play, too.
Santee Cooper generation mix for coal, above is from the company’s 2019 report. Below is a chart of winter power supply for Santee Cooper from its 12/23/2020 report to the ORS.
Duke Energy: Coal fuel represents about 27% of our generation portfolio.
Dominion – Via SPGlobal
Feature image: Duke’s Sutton plant coming down, 2016.