AEP / Coal / Energy

Coal-plant plunge threatens billions in pollution spend

The American Electric Power Co. coal burning plant in Conesville, Ohio.

CHICAGO, IL — “The coal-fired power industry in the U.S. is facing the biggest plunge in asset values in a decade, risking billions of dollars in pollution-control spending by utilities such as Exelon Corp. (EXC) and American Electric Power Co. (AEP)

An indication of how much new emissions rules and cheaper natural gas have hammered the value of coal-burning generation will come when Exelon announces the results of the first big sale of U.S. coal-fired power plants in four years.

Exelon, the largest U.S. power company, may have to take a 40 percent discount for three Maryland plants it’s seeking to sell by the end of August. Bidders including NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) (NRG) have offered $600 million to $700 million for the units, which have a fair value of $1 billion, said Travis Miller, Chicago- based director of utilities research for Morningstar Inc.”

— Julie Johnsson, Bloomberg News

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