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Luminant to close 1.8GW Monticello coal-fired plant in Texas

EBR Staff Writer Published 09 October 2017

Vistra Energy’s subsidiary Luminant has revealed its plans to close the 1.8GW coal-fired Monticello Power Plant in Texas in January 2018 after more than 40 years of operations.

Monticello Power Plant is the latest plant to be closed as the cheaper gas and development of renewable energy puts pressure on coal power plants.

Located in Titus County in Northeast Texas, the Monticello Power Plant has three units fueled by lignite coal which together generate enough electricity for 940,000 homes.

Vistra says that its subsidiary will carry out the required steps to decommission the power plant responsibly in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

Additionally, Luminant will continue the reclamation work that is going on at the plant's mines, which stopped operations since last spring.

Vistra Energy president and CEO Curt Morgan said: “For more than 40 years, Monticello employees have generated reliable power for Texans, and we honor and recognize their service.

“But the market's unprecedented low power price environment has profoundly impacted its operating revenues and no longer supports continued investment.”

Vistra Energy expects to register around $20-25m in Q3 2017 as one-time charges related to the closure of Monticello coal plant.

Shutting of the coal power plant will impact around 200 employees. Luminant says that it will provide severance benefits and outplacement assistance to eligible and impacted employees.

Luminant has filed a notice with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is expected to result in a reliability review. The company anticipates stopping operations at Monticello on 4 January 2018 if ERCOT decides that its units are not required for reliability after the 60-day review.

The Monticello Power Plant had begun operations in 1974 with first unit, while Unit 2 and Unit 3 were added in 1975 and 1978 respectively.