After winning a lawsuit to allow Sunflower to build the Holcomb coal fired plant, it has decided not to do so. Economics is killing the construction plans, as wind energy is now much cheaper than coal, even as the subsidy for renewable energy is being phased out.
A March report from Moody’s Investors Service found that in the 15 states with the best wind resources, new wind generation now costs significantly less than existing coal-fired power plants.
After more than a decade of efforts to dramatically expand the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, Kansas, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the principal backer, now considers it unlikely that the project will move forward.
Lee Boughey, a spokesperson for Tri-State, says “much has changed over the past 10 years since the [Holcomb] project was originally proposed. Tri-State has been able to meet the current and projected electric needs of its members by adding other generation resources, including renewable and natural gas resources.” Tri-State has added nearly 470 megawatts of renewable energy resources since 2008, and plans to add another 75 megawatts of wind generation later this year.