EIA: Mercury and Air Toxics Standard to close 54 GW of coal power

A total of 60 GW of coal-fired power generation is expected to retire by 2020, a number beyond that previously reported to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

According to EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Reference Case, 90 percent of those retirements will happen by 2016 due to the implementation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The standard is scheduled to take effect in April 2015, with a conditional extension of up to one year by state environmental permitting agencies.

At the end of 2012, there were 1,308 coal-fired generating units in the U.S. totaling 310 GW of capacity. In 2012 alone, there were 10.2 GW of coal capacity retired, or 3.2 percent of the 2011 total. Units that retired in 2010-2012 were small, with an average size of 97 MW, compared to those retiring over the next 10 years, which are an average of 145 MW.

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