May 10, 2019 / 7:19 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-New York adopts rules to phase out coal power plants by 2020

 (Adds quote, size of coal plants)
    By Scott DiSavino
    NEW YORK, May 10 (Reuters) - New York environmental
regulators adopted rules to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from
power plants that will force generators to stop burning coal in
the state by the end of 2020.
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been highly critical
of U.S. President Donald Trump's support for the coal industry,
said in a statement on Thursday that state's new carbon
reduction rules would deliver on his 2016 pledge to go coal-free
by 2020.
    "As our federal government continues to support the dying
fossil fuel industry, deny climate change, and roll back
environmental protections, New York is leading the nation with
bold climate action to protect our planet and our communities,"
Cuomo said.
    Coal generated less than 1% of the electricity in New York
in 2017, the most recent year available according to state and
federal data.
    There are four coal-fired power plants in New York with a 
total capacity of around 1,640 megawatts, according to federal
data. But only around 1,100 MW of coal-fired capacity was
actually available for service, according to state data, since
several units have not operated or burned coal in recent years
due primarily to competition from cheap and abundant natural gas
    One megawatt can power about 1,000 U.S. homes.
    Those plants include units at Cayuga Operating Co's 302-MW
Cayuga plant, NRG Energy Inc's         520-MW Dunkirk and
Somerset Operating Co's 685-MW Somerset.
    NRG, which mothballed the Dunkirk plant in 2016, dropped a
plan to convert it from coal to natural gas in 2018.
    In addition to the carbon rules, the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation proposed regulations
earlier this year that would restrict nitrogen oxide (NOx)
emissions from small natural gas-fired peaking power plants.
    Cuomo said the emission control rules will help move the
state closer to meeting the Green New Deal he announced in 2019,
which requires the state's power to be 100 percent carbon-free
by 2040.
    The state has also mandated that 70%t of its electricity
come from renewable sources by 2030. New York currently gets
about 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources,
according to federal energy data.

 (Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York
Editing by James Dalgleish and Marguerita Choy)
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