• NV Energy, Inc. announced that it is postponing plans to build a "clean coal" plant in eastern Nevada, citing "environmental and economic uncertainties." This bit is worth noting:

The company will not move forward with construction of the coal plant until the technologies that will capture and store greenhouse gasses are commercially feasible, which is not likely before the end of the next decade.

Meanwhile, they’re still building the high-voltage transmission lines that were part of the original plan — they’re just going to use them to carry renewable energy.

• In Ohio, American Electric Power has put plans for an IGCC coal plant on hold, citing the lack of sufficient subsidies "state of the economy." Oh yeah, and the assessment that construction costs will top $2 billion.

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Plans for the project have been placed on hold repeatedly, due to cost recovery issues, construction costs and regulatory issues. However, Celona said, AEP has not changed its plans, and still hopes to build here.

I’ll hold my breath.

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• The University of Wisconsin’s Charter Street heating plant, long a target for enviros, has announced that it will no longer be burning coal. It’s switching to biomass, mainly wood and agricultural products.

"[It’s] taking … heating from the 19th century into the 21st century," [UW Associate Vice Chancellor Alan] Fish said. "It’s a more than $200 million investment by the state, and will eliminate the burning of over 100 tons of coal and have the potential to burn 250,000 tons of biomass."

Yes, all the usual criticisms of biomass apply, but at least it’s creating electricity and not fueling cars. It’s a step.

I could do a post like this every few weeks. Coal is on the ropes in the U.S. Next up: shutting down existing plants!