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350-Plus U.S. Coal Plants 'Ripe for Retirement,' Group Says

Nov 13, 2012
(Bloomberg)

Southern Co. and other utilities could retire as many as 353 coal-fired electricity units as the costs of installing pollution controls on those plants won’t let them compete with cheaper natural gas and wind power, an environmental group said.

The Union of Concerned Scientists said in a report released today that an additional 59 gigawatts of electric generating capacity from coal plants could be shuttered, representing more than 6 percent of all U.S. electricity used. Those changes are warranted because many of those rarely used plants have already outlived their 30-year lifespan and generate the most emissions of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases, the report said.