A large American energy company is to close eight of its coal-fired power plants – taking 3GW of coal capacity offline.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) which provides power to around 9 million people in the south east of the country said the move was in response to “changing economic and regulatory conditions”.
It said it faced “lower power demand, a slow economy, uncertainty in commodity pricing and tougher environmental requirements, particularly on air emissions.”
Among the stations to retire are two of three units at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky, which will be replaced by a new gas-fired plant. TVA said it plans to invest $1 billion (£620m) in the changeover.
The lone remaining unit, one of TVA’s largest coal-fired generators, will be left in place.
The new plan will eventually give hydroelectric and renewable power a 20% share of TVA’s generation. Coal will make up another fifth, as will gas-fired generation. The remaining 40% will come from nuclear.
TVA President and CEO, Bill Johnson said: “These were difficult recommendations to make as they directly impact our employees and communities.
“But the plan is what’s best in terms of its positive impact on TVA’s rates, debt and the environment – and it will bring the greatest benefit to the people of the Valley.”