Last coal plant in US Pacific Northwest to shut down starting in 2020

The last coal-fired power plant in the Pacific Northwest will shut down completely by 2025 under an agreement announced Saturday by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, says a report by the Los Angeles Times. The first boiler of TransAlta's 1,460-megawatt plant in Centralia, Wash., is set to go offline in 2020 and the second in 2025.

“This agreement is sending a message that states are getting serious about combating global-warming pollution and are taking steps to open up markets for home-grown clean energy,” said Bruce Nilles, deputy conservation director with the Sierra Club, whose Beyond Coal Campaign has been involved in the negotiations. Nilles hinted at the breakthrough during a keynote speech at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Ore., but commented only after the announcement.

The only other such plant in the Pacific Northwest, the PG&E plant near Boardman, Ore., is already under an agreement to go offline in 2020.