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Date: 01/23/23 07:00
Wyo and coal
Author: dougd

Cowboy State Daily is reporting that Wyo lost a great deal of revenue in coal sales because there were not enougth trains to haul the coal out of state.    The statement was made that recently during the very cold snap trains were not available, causing power plants to turn to more expensive natural gas, which in turn made yours and mine power bill increase.  

But I see  many engines parked  and out of use in the state.    UP and BNSF apparently have limited concern for serving the needs of our nation



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 10:16 by dougd.



Date: 01/23/23 07:35
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: Lackawanna484

I suspect that article is preaching to the choir, but it misses several essential points.

Most power plant coal is shipped under long term contracts. That lets the mine know how much coal will be required, how many people to hire, etc. And it tells the railroad it will need two unit trains weekly, for seven train sets in motion, etc.  Power plants usually keep 90-120 days of coal on the ground at the plant.  It is exceptionally rare for a power plant to "run out of coal".  Only a relatively small amount of Wyoming coal is sold on the spot market

There are a number of good websites which monitor in real time the sources of electric power in various regions. It varies widely. Texas generally uses about  4,500-5,000 kwh of coal fired electricity, and about the same of nuclear. That's baseload, and about 10% together. Right now, at 9.30 CT,  Texas' electricity is 35% wind and 35% gas, and 15% solar. The PJM and MISO regions monitor other US and Canadian power users.



Date: 01/23/23 07:43
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: dan

It has been reported many times. Excel who provides power for Denver has charged evewryone more because of this, fillings have been made with regulators due to the fact they had to buy more expensive gas due to the shortage of coal.   Due to the lack of employees they cannot run more trains.



Date: 01/23/23 07:45
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: HotWater

Just my opinion but, that appears to be another example of "poor journalism". More and more coal fired power plants in the U.S. have either been shutdown, or converted to natural gas, due to the environmental impact of burning coal. Sure, Wyoming has been hit very hard, but it has NOTHING to do with lack of coal hauling trains.



Date: 01/23/23 07:56
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: dan

your wrong hotwater, UP has/will gotten quite a few trains back In Morrill the challenge is to staff them we all know there are plenty of engines, but many have not been operated as well so they need to be put in service with employees that may not be there as well.  BNSF has been called out as well for not being able to handle what they have, that is why some action is trying to get UP to deliver, as they are not the preferred operator at all.

Now wether this just a tempoary blip, i think it is  as the shift away from coal continues.  Excel which i referenced stated goal is to get away from coal, but as long as the Russian war continues we ought to add back, not retire any coal plants.  Wish we could mothball more plants so we could be more reactive to problem, not demolish them.  So if the union guys in the powder river basin have been told to expect more trains, what they didn't say is for how long.   In denver these double coal empties show up and sit for 36 hours before they go to Alliance, guesing crews.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 10:54 by dan.



Date: 01/23/23 08:53
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: timz

> causing power plants to turn to more
> expensive natural gas

Do plants actually do that? "Looks like
we're out of coal, so we better turn on
the gas pipeline."

Can coal-burning boilers burn gas,
or are the gas boilers already there
but normally not used?



Date: 01/23/23 09:47
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: Lackawanna484

Peabody Coal discussed the coal mining situation in Wyoming a few earnings calls ago. Long term coal contracts with power companies are not increasing, so the amount of extraction will be gradually diminishing over the next few years.  Just about all Wyoming coal is under contract, very little of it goes into the spot market, from what I understand.

The shut downs of coal fired plants are real, and they are happening continuously.  With contract natural gas back in the $3-$4 range the coal electric facilities will likely resume being shut down. The equation varies in different places, but  $3 gas will trounce current coal in just about every situation.

I referenced the ERCOT site for a reason.  Texas utilities and large users buy electricity from the cheapest wholesale source.  Right now, in Texas, that's usually wind. Coal is a relatively expensive source, and it doesn't turn on and off like natural gas. The coal fired electricity in most places is base load. It fires up, and stays fired up for months. Nuclear, too. That's why the 5,000 mw of coal fired electricity in Texas is pretty constant.

Wyoming legislators and their enablers have been upset about the loss of coal revenue for a while. I believe they have an extraction tax on wind electricity shipped out of state, but I don't know how much revenue it produces. Wyoming has fallen behind several other states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, etc) in wind generation. It was once a leader.  Shame, they have a lot of wind there.



Date: 01/23/23 10:06
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: radar

Wyoming is a state that is trying to stay in the last century.  Another example is the stunt to introduce a bill to ban EV's.  The state is such a small vehicle market that the automakers wouldn't even care.  The state's top 4 revenue sources are fossil fuels.



Date: 01/23/23 10:11
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: dougd

But the wind doesnt blow all the time  As I travel the state my guess is that about half the time I see those things turning---either the wind is too stong or not enough to turn.  And our dumps are filling up with the refuse from these wind mills, and there is difficulty in effectuvely breaking  them down..

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 10:13 by dougd.



Date: 01/23/23 10:46
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: longliveSP

dougd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cowboy State Daily is reporting that Wyo lost a
> great deal of revenue in coal sales because there
> were not enougth trains to haul the coal out of
> state.    The statement was made that recently
> during the very cold snap trains were not
> available, causing power plants to turn to more
> expensive natural gas, which in turn made yours
> and mine power bill increase.  

Please provide a list of coal fired power plants that can readily switch to natural gas.

> But I see  many engines parked  and out of use
> in the state

SO! Has nothing to do with anything. Just because A does not equal foxtrot.

 



Date: 01/23/23 13:01
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: Lackawanna484

Which domestic coal buyers increased their purchases of coal in 2022? No buyers means no increase in coal trains, etc

For now,coal is not on the rise.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/23/23 14:30
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: DD40

timz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > causing power plants to turn to more
> > expensive natural gas
>
> Do plants actually do that? "Looks like
> we're out of coal, so we better turn on
> the gas pipeline."
>
> Can coal-burning boilers burn gas,
> or are the gas boilers already there
> but normally not used?

The basic answer to this is no, a coal fired plant cannot just switch to gas. For one thing there is the matter of getting a gas source at the plant. You just don't call up the gas comapany and ask for a meter to be set. The majority of coal plants don't even use gas as ignitors. One plant that I know that does have gas ignitors still has to have oil as a back-up ignition source as the supply of gas is subject to the gas suppliers demands. What are ignitors? To start a plant you don't just squirt some Gulflite on a pile of coal and strike a march. To complicated to go into here, but you burn usually No. 2 oil until conditions permit admission of pulverized coal.

Can a coal plant be converted to gas firing? Again, the short answer is no. A power plant steam generator is designed for a specific fuel. Even changing the source of coal from say, West Virginia to Powder River coal has a big effect on design, and can have many operational issues. A gas fired boiler is very different than a coal fired boiler. Taking a coal fired boiler and converting the fuel source to gas would result in one dog of a unit with crap efficiency. Now when someone says the plant has been converted to gas, I always ask what has been converted. In some case the plant is still there, in particular the switchyard portion, and new gas turbine generators are tied into the original plant structure. The original boilers and turbince generator has been mothballed or decommissioned. I cannot ever remember hearing of a coal fired boiler demolished and replaced with a gas fired boiler and retaining the original steam turbine/generator and the balance of plant equipment. 



Date: 01/23/23 15:11
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: PHall

dougd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But the wind doesnt blow all the time  As I
> travel the state my guess is that about half the
> time I see those things turning---either the wind
> is too stong or not enough to turn.  And our
> dumps are filling up with the refuse from these
> wind mills, and there is difficulty in effectuvely
> breaking  them down..
>
>  

Wind turbines can be brought online or taken offline to match the system demand fairly easily. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/23 15:13 by PHall.



Date: 01/23/23 15:14
Re: Wyo and coal
Author: dan

long periods in the west in the winter with areas of not enough wind to generate



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