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TXU chief says new plants would relieve woes

TXU Corp. Chairman John Wilder said “everybody’s mad as a hornet” about Texas’ high electricity rates, but said increased supply of electricity that would come from 11 new coal-fired generating plants TXU wants to build would be the solution to Texas’ increasingly tight electricity supply. Wilder acknowledged that TXU probably won’t be able to achieve significant carbon dioxide emission reductions for years, perhaps as late as 2020, he said, but added “there is no perfect fuel for electricity generation........ Wind power, Wilder said, is inefficient because wind can’t be depended on to blow consistently at the right times “and besides, it costs 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour to make electricity from wind unless it is subsidized by the government.”

TXU Corp. Chairman John Wilder said “everybody’s mad as a hornet” about Texas’ high electricity rates, but said increased supply of electricity that would come from 11 new coal-fired generating plants TXU wants to build would be the solution to Texas’ increasingly tight electricity supply.

Wilder acknowledged that TXU probably won’t be able to achieve significant carbon dioxide emission reductions for years, perhaps as late as 2020, he said, but added “there is no perfect fuel for electricity generation.

“When you ask people if they would rather have 10 coal-fired plants or 10 nuke plants, they back off and say ‘whoa,’” Wilder told an electricity industry investment conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Wind power, Wilder said, is inefficient because wind can’t be depended on to blow consistently at the right times “and besides, it costs 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour to make electricity from wind unless it is subsidized by the government.”

The operators of the Texas electricity transmission grid say Texas faces a steady erosion of its once-comfortable surplus of electricity generating capacity. Wilder has proposed adding 9,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generating capacity to its current base of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

TXU Corp. Chairman John Wilder said “everybody’s mad as a hornet” about Texas’ high electricity rates, but said increased supply of electricity that would come from 11 new coal-fired generating plants TXU wants to build would be the solution to Texas’ increasingly tight electricity supply.

Wilder acknowledged that TXU probably won’t be able to achieve significant carbon dioxide emission reductions for years, perhaps as late as 2020, he said, but added “there is no perfect fuel for electricity generation.

“When you ask people if they would rather have 10 coal-fired plants or 10 nuke plants, they back off and say ‘whoa,’” Wilder told an electricity industry investment conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Wind power, Wilder said, is inefficient because wind can’t be depended on to blow consistently at the right times “and besides, it costs 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour to make electricity from wind unless it is subsidized by the government.”

The operators of the Texas electricity transmission grid say Texas faces a steady erosion of its once-comfortable surplus of electricity generating capacity. Wilder has proposed adding 9,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity generating capacity to its current base of 18,300 megawatts of generating power.

He said Texas has gotten into its current high-rate fix by relying heavily on natural gas as a fuel for generation. Between two-thirds and three-quarters of Texas’ electricity is generated by gas-fired plants, and Wilder said high prices for gas mean gas-generated electricity is a nickel per kilowatt hour more expensive than coal-fired generation.

Wilder said that leaves TXU with little choice but to go ahead with plans to build 11 new coal-fired plants on the site of TXU’s coal-fired generators in east and south-central Texas. The proposal has drawn fire from environmentalists and some public officials, led by Dallas Mayor Laura Miller and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck.

Wilder and TXU have promised that after TXU spends up to $2 billion on environmental controls for the new generators and retrofits older facilities that TXU’s carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced. But under questioning after the meeting Wilder reluctantly gave 2020 as a possible date when the full carbon dioxide emission reductions would be in place.

The TXU chairman said TXU could bring some plants back on line that it mothballed in 2004, but “it would cost a lot. It also would be terribly environmentally inefficient, with noxious oxide rates about six or seven times what they should be.”

The mothballed plants, shut down because of their age, had about 1,500 megawatts of capacity. TXU has instead increased its purchases of electricity from several newer independent generating plants opened in Wise, Hood, Ellis and Kaufman counties during this decade.

 


Source: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/...

NOV 7 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/5754-txu-chief-says-new-plants-would-relieve-woes
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