City’s coal-fired power plant entering its twilight

by Tracy Overstreet, The Grand Island Independent

Grand Island’s coal-fired power plant, the Platte Generating Station, has been a rock star.

“Grand Island has never run a plant as long and as hard as we have Platte,” Utilities Director Tim Luchsinger said.

The 100-megawatt plant went on line in 1982 and has provided low-cost, baseload-level electricity ever since.

But a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of greener energy policies has raised questions about the future of coal-fired plants such as Platte.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t see a lot of operation of Platte by 2030,” Luchsinger said. “It may be retired by then.”

That projected retirement may come as a surprise to some, particularly as the plant undergoes a $42 million pollution-control upgrade that will be complete in November. But it’s not so surprising to those in the energy industry.

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