At the end of June, utilities in three U.S. states declared they are closing down coal plants and moving straight to renewables, without building new gas plants as a “bridge” fuel. For example, to replace lost coal capacity, Tucson Electric Power in Arizona will add 2,457MW of new wind and solar generation, backed up with 1,400MW of battery storage. Similar commitments are being made by other utilities in Colorado and Florida. New Mexico is seriously thinking about it. These are momentous decisions, says Dennis Wamsted at IEEFA, who explains that the drivers are financial as well as climate targets. These utilities have concluded that continuing improvements in costs and performance for wind, solar and battery storage means emissions targets can be met, and system reliability delivered, without recourse to gas.
Energy Post 8th July 2020 read more »