NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - TransAlta Corp (TA.TO) and Washington state agreed to enter formal talks to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the 1,376-megawatt Centralia coal-fired power plant and to provide replacement capacity by 2025.
As the United States moves closer to regulating the carbon emissions in an effort to combat global warming, TransAlta said in a release the talks would allow the company to transition the facility to cleaner energy sources while protecting jobs.
“Since TransAlta acquired the Centralia plant in 2000, we’ve worked closely with the state to reduce the plant’s environmental impact, investing more than $300 million into pollution controls and securing significant reductions in emissions,” Dawn Farrell, TransAlta chief operating officer, said in the release.
Centralia, which entered service in 1971, is Washington state’s largest baseload power source, providing about 10 percent of the state’s power. Baseload plants are usually low cost coal or nuclear plants that operate around the clock.
Since the plant is a merchant facility, TransAlta said it cannot pass on the cost of environmental and other upgrades to customers.
The coal for the plant arrives by train from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Jim Marshall)