Plant retirements will slow in 2024 before increasing again the following year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Only 5.2 GW of generation is scheduled to retire this year – a 62% decrease from last year’s 13.5 GW, and the lowest since 2008, according to EIA’s latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory report. Coal and natural gas account for 91% of planned capacity retirement.

Source/Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, December 2023

Over the past two years, 22.3 GW of U.S. coal-fired generating capacity was retired, with only 2.3 GW scheduled to retire this year, accounting for 1.3% of the U.S. coal fleet in operation at the end of last year. Most of the retirements in 2024 will come from older units, with a capacity-weighted average age of 54 years, 10 years higher than the weighted average age of operating coal plants.

The largest retirements this year will be Seminole Electric Cooperative’s 626 MW Unit 1 in Florida, and Homer City Generating Station’s 626 MW Unit 1 in Pennsylvania.

However, coal retirements are expected to increase again in 2025, with operators planning to retire 10.9 GW.

Source/Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, December 2023

For natural gas, the 2.4 GW scheduled to retire this year represents 46% of the total expected capacity retirements. The total accounts for 0.5% of operating U.S. natural gas-fired capacity, according to EIA.

A single unit will account for 60% of natural gas-fired capacity retirements this year: the final unit at the six-unit, 1,413 MW Mystic Generating Station in Massachusetts, which has been operating since the 1940s. The remaining capacity retirements will come from he Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) Johnsonville station’s 16 simple-cycle combustion turbines, totaling 754 MW.

Finally, at least 450 MW of petroleum-fired capacity is planned to retire this year, with the majority coming from TVA’s Allen power plant, which is shutting down 20 combustion turbine units totaling 427 MW.

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