SALT LAKE CITY — Its own analysis that shows 60 percent of its coal-fired power plant units are more costly to run than shutter is prompting Pacifi Corp to request additional time to review their potential operational life.The December request for a delay before the Public Service Commission involves the depreciation schedule for power plant units it operates in six states, including Utah.In 2016, natural gas overtook coal as the leading fuel for power plants, according to the Energy Information Administration.
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The depreciation date does not mean a unit's retirement, but rather the date at which the asset is paid off.
A report early this month to the Oregon Public Service Commission shows closing some of Pacifi Corp's coal-fired power plants could potentially save the utility company and its ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Excess solar energy produced in Utah, Nevada and mostly California is enabling Utah's coal-fired power plants to throttle back operations at levels not seen before.
Pacifi Corp and California ISO, which oversees that state's bulk electric power system, are participating in the Energy Imbalance Market, which uses rapid and sophisticated technology to send renewable energy to customers who are in "demand" for it the most.
In other words, this means China is being passive ending up with a weaker yuan against the dollar.
This passive influence by the strong dollar makes us think a slight depreciation of the yuan against the dollar is more likely than we previously believed, even though we thought this was unlikely. The dollar index has strengthened more than 1.7% year to date, and the yuan against the dollar has also appreciated by around 1.2% which implies that the yuan still has some room to weaken, especially if the dollar keeps strengthening.
The contradictory movements of appreciation of both the dollar index and the yuan at the same time show the Chinese central bank is unlikely to allow a longstanding yuan depreciation against the dollar.
The People's Bank of China (PBo C) will try to prevent the yuan weakening to a level that attracts massive capital outflows and lead to depletion of foreign exchange reserves.
"It is not that coal plants are getting more expensive, it is that the alternatives are getting cheaper," said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy.