This article first appeared on the BNEF mobile app and the Bloomberg Terminal.
- Resource adequacy accounted for 48% of revenue in 2017
- Coal supplied 2% of region’s power versus 12% in 2005-2010
New England coal revenues, costs and operating margins ($/MW-day)
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Falling power prices in the U.S. have furthered coal plants’ reliance on Resource Adequacy payments to turn a profit. This trend is most apparent in New England, where capacity payments made up 48% of total revenue to coal in 2017. Diminishing profitable generating opportunities force New England coal to rear its head only for brief spurts of high prices. Coal supplied just 2% of the region’s electricity in 2017, down from pre-shale era averages of 12% (2005-10). New England coal posted positive short-run operating margins in 2017 ($51/MW-day) by virtue of power price spikes and capacity earnings. This reflects a 5% growth in margins from 2016, driven entirely by capacity revenue.
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