Coal-fired power plants may have to close or cut operations

Energy Future Holdings Corp, parent company of Luminant, said it might have to cut operations or shutter some of its coal-fired power plants to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules.

In a filing July 13 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, EFH said six months is not enough time to modify its 12 coal-fired power plants to meet the EPA’s new Cross State Air Pollution rule that was released July 8. The rule requires coal-fired power plants to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions beginning Jan. 1, 2012. The rule also would launch a cap and trade system for emissions credits.

EFH said in the filing that its options to comply are either to reduce operations at some plants while mothballing others, switch generating fuel sources, conduct seasonal or temporary shutdowns at some of plants or install dry sorbent injection systems for SOx emissions. The company said it also expects capital expenditures and operating costs to rise due to reduced generation and wholesale power sales volumes.

The company said it doesn’t expect to have “sufficient liquidity in emissions trading markets” to comply through cap-and-trade.

In the filing, EFH said it has the options to petition EPA to reconsider the rule or challenge it in court.

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