Coal-fired power plants, or about 12.6 gigawatts worth of energy, make up 85% of the total electric generating capacity scheduled for retirement in the U.S. this year with renewables and natural gas making up a larger portion of the country’s power volume, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The retirements follow a temporary rise in coal-fired electricity generation for the first time in six years due to rising natural gas costs. The EIA estimates coal-fired generation will decrease 5% due to coal-fired power plant retirements and low production from coal mines.
Most existing coal plants were built in the 1970s and 1980s. The largest coal power plant scheduled to retire is the 1,305-megawatt William H. Zimmer plant in Ohio.
This year, 1.2 GW of natural gas-fired volume and 0.8 GW of nuclear power are due for retirement.
The retiring natural gas volume is made up of older steam and combustion turbine components.
The country’s largest natural gas plant due to close in 2022 is the Meramec power plant in Missouri.