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Progess Energy Switching to Natural Gas

Or at least that's the headlines from today's announcement from Progress Energy (PGN). Now as you read the details you'll see that PGN is only moving about 30% of their coal plants to natural gas. Its also interesting to note that its just the old plants and not the modernized plants. And that it won't be until 2013-2014 before the plants really start closing.

This news is clearly long term bullish for the natural gas industry and bearish for coal. Though I think alot of expectation already existed that domestically we'll continue to push more into natural gas, solar, and wind. This isn't completely bearish for coal though because places like China and India will continue to heavily rely on coal because that is the resource that they have.

Not sure how this impacts Cloud Peak (CLD) and may explain the IPO weakness. Clearly though any impact will only be years away at the earliest. We're currently working on another article that discusses the importance that coal expects to grow over the next decade even with all of these pushes to replace it.

In a report filed with the N.C. Utilities Commission today, the utility outlined its plan to close a total of 11 coal-fired units, totaling nearly 1,500 megawatts (MW) at four sites in the state:
  • The 600-MW L.V. Sutton Plant near Wilmington.
  • The 316-MW Cape Fear Plant near Moncure.
  • The 172-MW W.H. Weatherspoon Plant near Lumberton.
  • And the 397-MW H.F. Lee Plant near Goldsboro (retirement announced in August).


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