Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Intermountain Power Project will shutter coal-fired power plant near Delta

Utah's largest coal-fired power plant — the Intermountain Power Project outside Delta — will cease operations by 2025 due to losing its Southern California customer base and a weak market for coal-fueled electricity. The decision was anticipated, with its Southern California municipality customer base being prohibited from purchasing coal-fueled electricity when the contracts are up.

While electricity will no longer flow from heating coal, IPP participants are moving ahead with plans to develop new natural gas-fueled electricity generation at the site. Already, 32 municipal power systems and rural electric cooperatives have agreed to participate in the gas project, and engineering work has started, according to company officials.

The project will bring on 1,200 megawatts of new natural-gas fueled electricity, compared with the 1,800 megawatts of installed capacity from coal-fired generation. More than 440 people are employed at the site, generating an annual payroll that exceeds $46 million, according to a news release. The next eight years will be a time of "transition" for the plant's employees, but exactly how many of those workers will be able to retain their jobs was not specified in the company announcement. Deseret News