Stronger Illinois emissions standards and more alternative energy incentives have led Dallas-based Vistra Energy Corp. to announce it will retire four coal-fired generation plants with about 2,000 MW of capacity before the end of the year.
Vistra spokesperson Meranda Cohn said renewable-based energy facilities are planned for the retired coal plants, which are Coffeen (915 MW), Duck Creek (425 MW), Havana (434 MW), and Hennepin (294 MW).
The plants to be closed range in age from 41-66 years and collectively have 290 employees.
With the plants’ retirements, Vistra would have 38,500 MW in its national portfolio, some of which was acquired in its 2018 purchase of Dynegy Inc. Two-thirds of the fleet includes 37 gas-fired plants collectively representing 24,595 MW.
Gas and renewable resources, primarily wind and biomass, provide about 10% of Illinois’ generation.
Illinois is one of the major gas-consuming states, consuming almost 1 Tcf annually, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Almost 80% of Illinois households use gas for home heating, above the national average of 50%.
The latest short-term outlook for coal-fired generation by EIA expects coal-fired generation to continue to decline from 28% in 2018 to average 24% this year and in 2020.