Plans to switch power plant from natural gas to coal cancelled

Plans to convert a natural gas-fired power plant to coal have been shelved thanks to a drop in natural gas prices to under $2.

According to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate newspaper, Louisiana Generating, a subsidiary of NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG), said that the company allowed a permit to lapse to repower the 230 MW Big Cajun I power plant in New Roads, La. The plant also never received federal approval for the conversion, but the switch had been approved by the state Department of Environmental Quality, the article said.

The 1,871 MW Big Cajun II is the company’s only coal-fired power plant in the state, according to the article. There were plans in 2009 to change the plant to burn biomass such as switchgrass and sorghum but those were cancelled as well.

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