Skip to comments.Nevada power plant to close after dispute
Posted on 12/30/2005 8:01:33 AM PST by SmithL
LAUGHLIN, Nev. - A large coal-fired power plant will close at the end of the year rather than violate a court-ordered deadline to install an estimated $1.1 billion in pollution-control measures.
Southern California Edison said Thursday the Mohave Generating Station, at the center of an environmental dispute several years ago, would close. The plant has provided the utility with 7 percent of its electricity, but the company said its 13 million customers would not be immediately affected because of other power sources.
Under a 1999 consent decree won by environmental groups, the aging Mohave plant was required to upgrade its pollution controls or close by Jan. 1, 2006.
The groups had argued the 1,580-megawatt plant, about 100 miles south of Las Vegas, had repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act, contributing to haze at the Grand Canyon.
The utility, the plant's majority owner and operator, had hoped to keep it open as natural gas prices have continued to rise.
In a filing Thursday with the California Public Utilities Commission, Edison said it planned to continue negotiations aimed at keeping the plant open but expected to close it for at least a few months. The environmental groups have said they would not agree to a deadline extension.
The plant is the only customer of the nearby Black Mesa mine, which provides about 160 jobs to members of the Navajo Nation. The mine, run by Peabody Energy Corp., will likely be forced to close.
"It was the environmental groups that helped bring this about - for altruistic reasons, of course - but the result is that a lot of breadwinners are going to be out of work," said George Hardeen, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation.
Environmentalists said they sympathized with the tribes, but argued Edison had plenty of time to fix the plant's pollution problems. Edison should invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land, which would benefit the people "who have been exploited all of these years by the greater metropolitan centers of the West," said Roger Clark, director of the Grand Canyon Trust's air and energy program.
Enjoy your higher bills.
In the words of one of the two punks from the movie Roxanne:
"Thank you, asswipe."
Like a casino. Lets eliminate all the real productive jobs, and replace them with make believe jobs.
No need to thank me. Its what I do. I'm an environmentalist.
This is just a ploy. They will install scrubbers. It just makes economic sense. The costs of the scrubbers will be pased on to the consumers . . . and life goes on.
Isn't that Dusty Harry's neck of the woods? Guess he didn't want to be bothered with "constituents".
Let me guess. The unmarked bills for Harry Reid's family didn't arrive in time.
> ... the company said its 13 million customers would not
> be immediately affected because of other power sources.
And because it's WINTER.
If you live in CA, plan to get off-grid, or get out
entirely, before summer.
This certainly doesn't help the Vegas area with their growing energy demands. As long as the enviromental whackos get to call the shots, in a few short years you can kiss that area goodbye.
Seriously, the tribe itself should see if it can buy or become partners in the power plant, perhaps get the land it sits on declared as tribal land. And then work to get a variance on the pollution controls until they can put together the backing needed to do the work.
This is political, and needs a political solution. Republicans should look for an opportunity to salvage this situation. It could be a two-fer for them, they get to outmaneuver the enviros, and penetrate a Dem constituency, at the same time. And keep a tribe from falling back into government-caused-dependency.
Something tells me you are right.
I wonder how much power they'd have to produce in order to generate a billion dollars of profit just to break even.
I'm guessing you probably don't run a business.
Or it could be that Dingy Harry's lips are so far up the lunatic environmentalist fringe's butt that he couldn't intervene even if the unmarked bills came in sufficient quantities.
And I'm guessing you don't know much about the generation buisness. Watch the headlines, somebody will install scrubbers on this.
> This certainly doesn't help the Vegas area with their
> growing energy demands.
And growing water demands, and of the two, the water
may be the more serious problem.
Somehow I don't expect to see this story in the WaPo,
with an "indian women and children hardest hit" subtitle.
LOL! The plant is less than 300 miles from the largest clean-burning coal deposit in the world (Clinton's Escalante Staircase Nantional Monument).
A lot of people have the impression that a power plant is a license to print money. It isn't, those guys walk a very tight line. I had the experience of sitting for a while next to the guy whose job it was to make the daily deals that kept a power plant running. Some days they are making money, some days they lose a small amount, but its better to keep running, some days they shut down because the money isn't there.
They are constantly calculating the cost of fuel versus the price offered on the market, and some days they run, and some days they don't. This is a pretty big plant, not a peaker. But the economics are always borderline.
The wackos got a bunch of things shutdown in CA (Rancho Seco, SONGS-1) and elsewhere (Trojan), and now they're going after facilities in NV. Arizona is next.
So another 1600 MW of capacity is lost. I hope the people in CA remember this incident, and where the blame lies, when they're looking at blackouts sometime in the future. But, being mostly idiots, they probably won't, and will blame the "evil corporations", the utilities, for "price fixing".
Oh those quirky environmentalist, aren't they a fun group! Killing off jobs and people. They should be made to support everyone who loses their income due to environmental activism.
Utilities can pass through these costs to their rate payers. Taking 1500 mw off line doesn't make sense.
Except, dear Roger, Edison & Peabody are not welfare, make-work corp.'s
There ain't no money in your "invest in renewable energy sources on tribal land" plan.
I don't think so, because Peabody has been battling the Navajo Nation and enviro's for some time over it's coal mining and tremendous use of water to transport it's coal to Edison's plant. The coal mine has been in the cross hairs for years & years and was, I think, going to end up shut down anyway. Edison, having no readily available coal for their plant, was going to have to shut down.
The enviro's got a two-fer out of this.
In a deregulated electricity market, you can't just pass along the costs. You're competing against other power plants. You can't just jack up your rates to cover the cost or customers will get their power elsewhere.
The question Edison had to ask itself is whether making a $1.1 billion investment was going to make a satisfactory rate of return. I don't know what the profit margin at this plant is, but it undoubtedly would take many year's profits to pay back that $1.1 billion.
Edison would be infinitely better off to shut the plant down and buy Treasury Bills with that billion bucks.
Note that the AP doesn't actually name the watermelons who filed the suit. To the AP, they're just cute fluffy forest creatures who travel around making people happy every place they go.
Maybe so, I have no specific info on Mojave at hand, but I daily keep up with the generation buisness. But I know a station that large with a nearby available coal supply would not let scrubbers come between them and staying operational. If there are other killers to the deal, it may not be feasible. Many times fuel transportation cost is the largest expense to a coal-fired plant.
Scrubbers reduce the undesirable emmissions, they don't eliminate them.
After the utility floats bonds and make other crippling committments to this reduction in emissions, all the enviro-nazis have to do is get one of their old hippie judges to move the decimal point one or two more places to the left on allowables and the utility has to go through the whole thing again.
It appears that the real aim of the enviros is control, not the environment.
A 1500 MW coal plant has to be higher on the dispatch list than any natural gas plant. I think Edison could get the job done for a lot less than $1.1 billion, especially with the new manganese based flue gas scrub technology now coming on line.
Perhaps so, but whatever it might cost is still going to have to be viewed by the company as a capital investment and whether it makes financial sense.
In the meantime, they face a hard deadline of Saturday night and nothing is going to change that.
Edison will also gain by receiving pollution credits under an EPA program which it will be able to sell to other utilities.
Closing the plant is not a bluff. It's a business decision in response to environmental activism.
That's a fact, Jack.
LOL! It amazes me how many people still think:
1) Altruism = noble self-sacrifice rather than sacrificing somebody else to advance your own interests.
2) Environmentalists act for the benefit of anything but their own interests.
I work for one of the outside power companies that works on devices to generate power that power companies used to have people on site do.
Service...Jobs that only Americans can do...so far....
Well, I guess the plant will be closed for awhile then. LOL.
The plant's already been running for 34 years, so can't have too much of a life left in it. That $1.1 billion (for a plant that cost $214 million to build, still less than a billion in today's dollars) won't be spread out over too-long a time, maybe only 10 or 20 years.
I think they have a couple full size scrub units on line at Minnesota Power. Can't say why they haven't updated their web page. They claim the manganese is recycled and there is no need for a big sludge pond. Power consumption is much less than a typical scrubber, which I'm told can consume 25-30 percent of the power plant's production.
It could, but that's that's the opposite direction of where we've been moving.
Where do these figures come from? I calculate 23 to 25 thousand ton/day.
What is your estimate of lifespan of a 1500 mw powerplant? Bear in mind boilers can be re-tubed, turbines rebuilt and auxillary equipment replaced. Longevity estimates are sometimes made for bond issues, regulators or other single issue bodies. These estimates may have no real basis.
It uses 13-14 thousand tons/day.
Oh please, shut the hell up.
Renewable energy my arse. There's companies in my neck of the woods that are approaching landowners about installing wind turbines. You should hear the "outrage". "We support renewable energy, but...", "wind power is good, but...".
There's claims by groups that oppose wind power that the light flickers from the turbines can cause seizure in some people, that birds get killed in large numbers, etc. I asked by brother's girlfriend whose parents live ~2000' feet from a farm of nine wind turbines and she indicated that the noise is very low, they have very few (< 30 dead birds) in the ~5 years the turbines have been running, etc. Another person who lives down the road from this wind farm says they have experienced none of the problems that opponents of wind farms are claiming.
Sorry, but if people believe that most eco nuts support renewable energy, think again, at least based on the recent experience around these parts...
That is possible but it may not be running full load. Also I would need to know the btu value of the coal and the efficiency of the unit to make a realistic estimate of fuel usage.
Stakes in the operation have been sold recently so someone sees a future in the plant. It will shut down and that should have a focusing effect on a bunch of people. This baby is too big to let go. Las Vegas will lose 6% of their power but new gas plants are coming online. The big loser will be SoCal.
You are correct and I was in error.
1600 MW = 1,600,000 KW
1,600,000 Kw * 24 hrs./day = 38,000,000 Kw/hr/day)
38,000,000 Kw/hr/day * 3412 Btu/(Kw/hr) = 130,000,000,000 Btu/day
Western low sulfur coal about 11,000 Btu/lb at 33% efficiency is 3,600 output/11,000 input.
(130,000,000,000 Btu/day)/(3600 Btu/lb) = 36,000,000 lb./day
36,000,000 lb/day * ton/2000lb = 18,000 tons per day. 12.5 tons per minute.
Dang. Was working from memory using info I remember from a different plant. I must have confused pulverizer capacity with full load coal usage. I had better use a pencil, paper and calculator instead of just a calculator these days!
An excuse! An excuse! Quick, blame someone else! At least blame it on coefficient confusion!
Your 25% efficiency is likely more accurate than 33% since you seem to be working from coal to MW/hrs metered into the grid and I was using only coal to generator output.
PRB coal is 8500 BTUs. Illinois Basin would be in the 11,000 range.
Typical 'environmental' solution to their perceived problem. Demolish all conventional infrastructure and build unsightly windmills and solar photovoltaic farms to occupy the entire landscape so no natural vistas remain in the desert. Won't the Grand Canyon look grand thouroughly dotted with supersized windmills, initial construction financed by government subsidies, without sufficient maintenance funds to demolish after they run for about 10 years and then are abandoned in place.
Look what they've done to Palm Springs.