Cleaner Energy
7:50 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Northwest’s largest coal-fired power plant agrees to shut down by 2025

The owner of the largest coal-fired power plant in the Northwest has agreed to phase out coal-burning by the end of 2025.

Washington’s governor and environmental groups announced an agreement with TransAlta Corporation Saturday. Within hours, the Washington State Senate passed a bill to turn the deal into law.

Washington Democrats and major environmental groups hailed the agreement to go coal-free as “historic” and a “giant step forward.”

The big coal fired power plant in Centralia is the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the state. Owner TransAlta agrees to phase out coal-burning between 2020 and 2025. Plant manager Lou Florence says some of the lost power production may be replaced by a new natural gas-fired generator at the site:

“It was a long time and a tough road to get here, but we’re very pleased that we are able to do it and we think this is going to serve the interests of everyone involved.”

Earlier this winter, Oregon regulators sealed a deal to shut down the only other coal-fired power plant in the Northwest. The deadline for the smaller plant in Boardman is 2020.