Decarbonization of the US electric grid is an almost impossible task. But in the absence of climate legislation, the most effective carbon reductions might fall to electric power companies that burn a lot of the black stuff, rather than Congress.

NRG Energy has 7.3GW capacity in coal assets and 11.1GW in natural gas. But those figures are dramatically reversed in generation: 48TWh (66%) comes from coal and 14TWh (20%) from natural gas. The Princeton-based company could double those figures pending its $1.7 billion acquisition of GenOn, which would bring its fleet to 46GW and make it the largest independent power generation company in the US. Keep reading →

NRG Energy said Sunday that it plans to acquire rival GenOn Energy in a $1.7 billion all-stock deal that would create the largest competitive power company in the U.S.
The combined company would have about 47,000 megawatts of power plants across the U.S. and have an enterprise value of $18 billion, the companies said. NRG President and Chief Executive David Crane will maintain his current positions at the combined company. GenOn Chairman and CEO Edward R. Muller will join the NRG board as vice chairman. Both companies had considered merger opportunities over the last few years as a way to cut costs and expand their footprints to better compete. Then, Mr. Muller said he contacted Mr. Crane this past spring to discuss a potential deal.

Fewer coal plant closures may result from pending Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules than previously estimated, says a new analysis from ICF International.

Combined with delays in federal greenhouse gas regulation and new expectations of rising natural gas prices, the latest estimates cut ICFI’s projection of forced coal closures from 50 gigawatts to 39 GW. Of that, 17 GW are coal plant closures already announced by operators. Keep reading →