HomeRenewable EnergyU.S solar industry turmoil delays closure of coal-fired power plants

U.S solar industry turmoil delays closure of coal-fired power plants

The slowdown in the construction of solar systems will make coal-fired power plants shut down later? U.S. utility NiSource Inc said a few days ago that it had decided to delay the closure of coal plants in Indiana. 

The solar import survey launched this year has lagged behind the construction of renewable energy facilities that could replace fossil fuels.

In March, U.S. trade officials said they would launch a major solar import investigation and impose tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. This is mainly because U.S. solar manufacturer Auxin Solar believes that Chinese manufacturers can transfer production capacity to these countries and avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar products by “washing the origin”.

Only the US solar trade group warned that the solar panels of the four Southeast Asian countries supply 80% of the United States, which may reduce the solar installations this year and next by nearly half.

NiSource said that delays in closing coal-fired power plants have also affected the company’s timeline for generating revenue from cheaper power sources. NiSource executives said on a quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts that the retirement of the two remaining units at RM Schahfer’s coal-fired plant in Jasper County, Indiana, will be delayed until the end of 2025, not 2023 as originally planned.

Closing all coal-fired power plants until 2028

The RM Schahfer coal-fired plant has been in operation since the 1980s, but two units have now retired due to the company’s commitment to close all coal-fired power plants in 2028 and reduce emissions by 90% in 2030. In response to the delayed timetable for company, It means that the goal has not changed.

Shawn Anderson, senior vice president at NiSource, said most of the solar and storage plants the company had expected to complete this year and next were delayed by six to 18 months. According to the plan, NiSource also has 10 solar projects under development, hoping to fill the vacancy of 877MW after the retirement of the Schahfer power plant.

Anderson said the company’s focus is on enabling customers to benefit from the renewable energy transition and save on costs. However, the timing delays accompanying this investigation will ultimately delay the time of benefit for customers, especially now that countries are in an environment of inflated energy costs.

This is also not the first coal-fired power plant to have extended operating hours. In addition to the turmoil in the US solar industry, the outbreak in China in February disrupted the solar supply chain again, and the San Juan coal-fired power plant in New Mexico was closed for three months.

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Mehmet is one of the administrator of Teknonel. As a software developer, he loves to share his knowledge in related topics. He is highly familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, publishing, and performance analysis as well as product reviews.

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