Coal power rises in Texas as gas, nuclear fall
Washington, 22 May (Argus) — Texas coal-fired electricity generation rose by almost 84pc in April compared with a year earlier, as gas and nuclear power declined.
Utilities dispatched 8.74 GWh of coal-fired power in to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) last month, compared with 4.75 GWh a year earlier and 7.07 GWh in March. That accounted for 33.6pc of the grid’s fuel mix, compared with 19pc in April 2016 and 27.2pc in March 2017.
Coal-fired generation within ERCOT reclaimed market share as natural gas prices rose. The day-ahead index for gas delivered to the Katy storage hub averaged $3.109/mmBtu last month, up from $1.863/mmBtu a year earlier. Meanwhile, the price for Powder River basin (PRB) 8,800 Btu/lb coal delivered to ERCOT averaged $2.636/mmBtu in April, compared with $2.439/mmBtu during the same month in 2016.
PRB specifications are the fuel of choice for most Texas coal-fired power plants.
Natural gas generation within ERCOT declined to 8.65 GWh last month and comprised 33.2pc of the grid’s power mix. This was almost 28pc lower than in April 2016, when utilities dispatched just over 12 GWh of natural gas generation in to the grid, or 47.9pc of electricity in ERCOT.
Output from the state’s four nuclear reactors also fell last month, to 1.84 GWh from 3.65 GWh in April 2016. The power source accounted for 7.08pc of electricity within ERCOT during the month, down from 14.6pc a year earlier.Read full article at Argus