Archive: Coal

Regulatory risks paralyzing power industry while demand grows

In our second annual report on the state and future of the U.S. power generation industry, we combine the considerable experience of POWER’s editorial staff with the market savvy of Industrial Info Resources Inc. (see next story) to preview the industry’s direction in 2008. We anticipate that the specter of carbon control legislation will hobble coal and make renewables the hot ticket while nukes continue to inch forward in a generation market that is basically treading water.

Global Monitor (January 2008) 

Dominion applies for new Virginia reactor / ABB commissions world’s largest SVC / Google Earth adds air quality data / Alstom supplies integrated solar/CC project in Morocco / DOE updates coal plant database / Dam the Red Sea? / Complying with CWA Section 316

FutureGen: FutureGen Finds a Home But Can’t Pay the Mortgage

The FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. selected Mattoon, Ill., as the site of the $1.8 billion FutureGen project just before Christmas, but the plant may never move off the drawing board.. FutureGen, the proposed prototype of a near-zero-emissions coal plant, is to demonstrate advanced technologies for coal gasification, electricity production, emissions control, CO 2 capture and […]

Coal Plant O & M: Condition Monitoring Cuts Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Costs

Condition monitoring (CM) has become an increasingly important aspect of power plant maintenance philosophy. Today many utilities are using a variety of predictive maintenance (PM) techniques like CM to lower their operation and maintenance expenses. Over the years, gencos have developed a diverse collection of CM programs of various breadth, depth, and formality. All are […]

Tech Notes: Giving PRB Coal the Respect It Deserves, Part 1

Use of Powder River Basin (PRB) coal for power generation set another record in 2007. In fact, PRB coal now accounts for about 40% of all the coal fired in the U.S. to produce electricity. Yet we have barely dented the estimated 800 billion tons of the fuel’s proven reserves in Wyoming. The size of […]

The Coal Patrol: Court Rejects Industry Suit Targeting Miner Safety Rules

A federal appeals court has rejected a National Mining Association (NMA) suit seeking to throw out new regulations issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The rules were to improve protection for miners in the wake of accidents at two West Virginia coal mines in January 2006 that killed 15. (See COAL POWER […]

The Coal Patrol: Growth in PRB Coal Use Will Be Fueled by New Projects

Production from Wyoming Powder River Basin (PRB) coal mines ended last year with a increase of only about 1.1%, reflecting a record 451.3 million tons, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. Production of PRB coal spiked with a record 10% growth in 2006 following two derailments on the PRB’s main triple-track line […]

Speaking of Coal Power: With Chaos Comes Opportunity

Combat veterans use the phrase "fog of war" to explain why carefully prepared battle plans are quickly overwhelmed by chaos once the first bullet is fired. Survivors often describe experiences that are markedly different from those of others standing only yards away. The fog of our industry’s battle to build new generating plants permeates the […]

Safety: Worker Health and Safety Now Top Priorities for Alabama Power

Employees of Alabama Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, routinely work near energized wires, intense heat, nuclear fuel, heavy equipment, moving vehicles, and pressurized equipment, as well as under other conditions that require exceptional safety attitudes and measures. Though it is vitally important to provide electricity to customers, neither company believes that doing so is worth […]

IGCC: IGCC’s Future Hinges on a Workable Carbon Framework

Integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, a process of gasifying coal that allows the capture of carbon dioxide emissions, has tremendous potential for meeting future baseload generation demand. Though it is one of the leading alternatives for producing clean power from coal, IGCC faces a precarious future due to rising capital costs and regulatory uncertainty. We’re […]