This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

PPL Montana To Mothball Coal-fired Plant In 2015


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) â¿¿ Market forces and environmental regulations that are driving a steady decline in coal-fired power generation across the U.S. have prompted PPL Montana to mothball a 154-megawatt coal plant in Billings, company officials said.

The 44-year-old Corette plant will shut down indefinitely in April 2015, PPL spokesman David Hoffman said Thursday. That's when new federal pollution rules kick in that Hoffman said would have cost the company $38 million in upgrades.

The announcement comes as coal fired generation is on a steep decline across the country, with 57 plants generating a combined 8,990 megawatts expected to retire this year, according to the Energy Information Administration. Competition from cheap natural gas is one of the primary reasons as many electric companies and utilities abandon older, less-efficient coal plants in favor gas plants.

Subsidies to wind power projects also have put coal at a disadvantage, and the company already had been forced to idle Corette for three months this spring, Hoffman said.

"We have not seen prices this low in a long time," he said.

Power from Corette was sold into the broad Northwest power market. Hoffman said there will be plenty of additional generating capacity to make up for its loss in 2015, including 5,000 to 6,000 megawatts of wind power that has recently come online or will soon.

No changes are planned for another PPL coal plant in Colstrip. The 2,100-megawatt plant, co-owned by five companies and operated by PPL, is the second-largest coal-fired plant west of the Mississippi. Hoffman said two of the Colstrip plant's four power generation units do not need to be upgraded for the new pollution rules, and upgrades for the other two will be less expensive than for Corette.

PPL Montana, which is part of PPL Corp., will maintain its operating permits for the 35-employee Corette plant in case circumstances change. That could come from a rebound in energy prices or a reversal of the looming Environmental Protection Agency rules on emissions of small pollution particles from coal plants that cause haze in the air and health problems in people, Hoffman said.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.75 -1.10%
FB $117.53 0.69%
GOOG $693.00 0.29%
TSLA $240.75 -2.80%
YHOO $36.61 0.06%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs