Apr 24, 2017 - Energy & Environment

PJM coal projects hampered by tough market

Andy Wong / AP

PJM Interconnection, a coal transmission organization, is about to go through some rough times that could potentially include refinancing rounds and retiring coal generating projects. It has about $3 billion in debt that will surface from 2019-2022, and the market conditions aren't making things easier.

What's happening: Low energy prices and new natural gas plants have seen coal-fired plants that were operating at 80% capacity four years ago drop to less than 60% capacity, according to Moody's Investors Service.

Why it matters: Already, PJM member Homer City Generation has declared bankruptcy twice and PJM member Genon Energy is likely going to restructure soon.

  • Track your state: PJM provides electricity for more than 65 million people in DE, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NJ, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV and D.C.
  • Plus, this trend could accelerate retirement of coal generating plants, and not just for PJM.
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