The Coal Trader

US Coal Power Plant Retirements Set to Increase in 2025

The United States is poised to see a significant uptick in coal-fired power plant retirements in 2025, dramatically impacting coal demand after a quieter year in 2024. According to Argus Media’s coal plant retirement database, 34 coal-fired units are slated to close in 2025, compared to just 11 expected retirements this year. This marks a substantial increase from the 23 units that were retired last year, signaling a more aggressive phase-out in the coming years.

The retirements next year will remove a significant 14,532 megawatts (MW) of summer generating capacity, a steep rise from the 3,629 MW set to go offline in 2024 and slightly more than the 10,577 MW decommissioned in 2023. This acceleration in closures indicates a sharp decline in coal demand; the units retiring in 2025 consumed approximately 39.6 million short tons of coal in 2023, far surpassing the 9 million short tons consumed by the units closing in 2024.

Geographically, most of the capacity being retired in 2025 is located in the central and eastern United States. Specifically, units within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and PJM Interconnection territories are the most affected, accounting for 39% and 27% of the retiring capacity, respectively. Notable retirements include three units at Consumers Energy’s J H Campbell coal plant in Michigan, which have a combined capacity of 1,440 MW, and two units at Talen Energy’s Brandon Shores coal plant in Maryland, totaling 1,270 MW.

Additionally, the western U.S. will also see significant retirements. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is set to deactivate units 1 and 2 at the Intermountain Power Plant in Utah, which will remove another 1,800 MW of coal capacity from the grid.

This planned increase in coal plant retirements reflects a broader shift in the U.S. energy sector towards more sustainable energy sources and could herald a significant reduction in the domestic demand for coal, aligning with environmental goals and changing market dynamics.

Source: Argus Media