Delaware’s last remaining coal plant could operate longer than expected due to reliability concerns
Delaware’s last remaining coal-fired power plant planned to shut down next spring, but new developments put that timeline into question.
The regional electric grid manager PJM says the planned closure of the Indian River coal plant, with capacity to power around 325,000 homes, could bring reliability issues—and that some upgrades to address these will not be ready in time for the June 2022 closure target.
So the grid manager is currently “exploring all options,” says spokesperson Jeff Shields, including the possibility of requesting the owner of the coal plant keep running it until all upgrades are in place.
NRG, which runs the plant, has not committed to a new timeline. Spokesperson Dave Schrader says how long the plant keeps running depends on the duration of transmission upgrades needed to relieve reliability impacts and the terms of any potential reliability-must-run agreement with the grid manager.
The two entities and the local transmission utility have until later this month to agree on a plan for continued reliability, PJM says. A report detailing these findings will go to the Delaware Public Service Commission.
This story has been updated.