PJM gas capacity exceeds coal for first time
Washington, 2 June (Argus) — Natural gas has edged out coal as the fuel with the most installed generating capacity in the PJM Interconnection for the first time.
The installed capacity from gas generators in PJM totaled 54,600MW in May, about 7pc more than the 50,900MW of installed capacity that came from coal. That marks a substantial reversal from last year, when coal had 12pc more installed capacity than gas.
Installed capacity refers to the nameplate summer capacity of a resource that can be delivered onto the grid. Coal is losing share to gas in PJM, the largest US electric grid, and other parts of the country amid a wave of retirements at plants not being retrofitted to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency emissions rules, namely the mercury and air toxics standards that took effect in April.
Another factor has been competition from low natural gas prices and renewables. A number of coal plants retired before the 1 June start of PJM’s 2015-16 capacity year, chief executive Terry Boston said last week.