Plant outages reduce Texas coal burn to lowest point in a decade
Coal generators in the ERCOT system spent much of the month offline, according to a new report from the grid operator’s independent monitor Beth Garza. Up to half of the grid operator’s 32 units were shuttered at some point, either for maintenance of unplanned outages or because economics forced them to go offline.
Generation from coal facilities was 5.6 GWh in March, significantly below the 9.3 GWh produced a year before. Falling gas prices may have played a part, Argus notes, with Houston Ship Channel prices averaging less than $3/MMBtu — the threshold where gas edges out coal.
Texas generation mix is changing, with wind power ramping up and solar just beginning.