Tracking New Coal-Fired Power Plants

This report is intended to provide an overview of proposed new coal-fired power plants that are under development. This report may not represent all possible plants under consideration but is intended to illustrate the potential that exists for installation of new coal-fired power plants. Recent experience has shown that public announcements of new coal-fired power plant development do not provide an accurate representation of actual new operating power plants. Actual plant capacity commissioned has historically been significantly less then new capacity announced

Historic Capacity additions by years

• Actual plant capacity, commissioned since 2000, has been far less than new capacity announced; the year 2002 report of announcements reflected a schedule of over 36,000 MW to be installed by 2007, whereas ≈ 4,500 MW (12%) were achieved
• The trend over several years has reflected the bulk of power plant developments shifting out in time due to project delays
• Delays and cancelations have been attributed to regulatory uncertainty (regarding climate change) or strained project economics due to escalating costs in the industry
• Cancellations become more prevalent as prospects of fulfilling all projects in the queue become impractical

Current capacity addition by years

•Table 1 reflects the current status of coal-fired plant development activity as of January 4, 2010 and the entire year (January 5, 2009 through January 4, 2010)
•“Progressing” plants are projects with status indicating permitted, near construction, or under construction
•“Progressing” plants have attained a higher likelihood of advancing toward commercial operation; however, regulatory uncertainty and industry cost increases are impacting development decisions for all projects
• 3,218 MW (8 plants) have become operation during 2009
• There has been a net decrease of 8,776 MW (-34%) of “Progressing” projects for the year




Cancelled Plant Implications

• The projects removed from the list are predominately due to today’s economic environment and regulatory uncertainty
• Announced projects that are canceled before or during the permitting phase are not unusual
– announced projects are not necessarily strong indicators of capacity additions
• Delayed or abandoned projects still represent future opportunities
– Land, fuel, transportation, and water availability still exists
– Specifically: Mine mouth opportunities and waste coal piles are still there




Summary – Year 2009
1/5/2009 – 1/8/2010
• Eight plants totaling 3,218 MW have become operational. 2009 has had the largest new coal capacity additions in one year since 1991
• “Progressing” projects have decreased by 18 plant (8 which are now operational with a decrease in total MW involved (from 26,131 MW to 17,355 MW)
• 4,605 MW of new capacity have been proposed and 14,915 MW have been canceled – Out of the 14,915 MW of canceled plants, 65% were in the early announced phase and 35% were in an advanced progressing phase
• Compared to previous year, few “announced” projects are being proposed

www.netl.doe.gov/coal/refshelf/ncp.pdf

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