Coal-fired electricity producer closes plants, hedges bets on cleaner future

By Incorrect Author 3 December 2009

Progress Energy, based in North Carolina, says it will close 30% of its coal-fired power plants in the state by 2017, betting that natural gas prices will stay acceptably low in the face of stricter rules on sulphur dioxide emissions. The plants were built between 1950 and 1970, and despite having plenty of electricity generating life left in them, Progress now wants to fit them with sophisticated emissions control units. The company says it is taking a financial risk by reducing carbon dioxide outputs -- which are not yet regulated -- but is essentially hedging its bets. Its long-term plan is to provide more nuclear energy. By closing and refurbishing the plants now, Progress is buying itself time ahead of future legislated emission reductions. Read more: The New York Times

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