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ERCOT approves Texas muni's plan to mothball coal-fired plant

The city of Garland, Texas, can mothball its 470-MW coal-fired plant in Grimes County starting October 17, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Thursday.

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In a suspension-of-operations notice filed July 19 with ERCOT, Garland said it is seeking to mothball its Gibbons Creek plant on a seasonal basis, operating it June 1 to September 30 each year.

The city then filed a follow-up notice with ERCOT July 26, noting the generation resources would be mothballed for a period of between seven and eight months.

"ERCOT is issuing this initial and also final determination that these resources are not required to support ERCOT transmission system reliability, the resource may be mothballed according to scheduled date," ERCOT said in the Thursday notice.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence data, the plant was put in service in 1983 and the Texas Municipal Power Agency currently operates it. The capacity factor for the plant peaked above 99% in July 2011 for the past seven years, when the peakload in the footprint for the month hit over 65 GW. But the capacity factor has averaged over 39% so far this year through April, while the average for 2016 was slightly higher, at over 40%.

--Jeff Zhou, jeff.zhou@spglobal.com

--Edited by Valarie Jackson, valarie.jackson@spglobal.com