A bevy of news this week illustrates the degree to which the nationwide transition to clean energy and away from fossil fuels, especially coal, is well on its way.
In the Southeast, Florida-based NextEra made an unsolicited $60 billion bid to buy Duke Energy, a company with historically deep ties in North Carolina, Tuesday. NextEra the nation’s largest renewable-energy company. Duke has been slow to reduce its reliance on coal- and gas-fired power plants while NextEra has gone from being the 30th largest U.S. power company in 2001 to the largest without accruing debt as it built out its wind and solar generation capacity.
Meanwhile, Texas-based Vistra Energy announced it will shut down more than 6,800 megawatts of coal-fired power generation in Illinois and Ohio by the end of 2027. Its CEO CEO described the move as necessary “if we want to be a long-term sustaining company,” in a virtual investor presentation.
Out west, Arch Resources, formerly Arch Coal, announced it would reduce extraction of thermal coal used to generate electricity from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana after a federal judge blocked its merger with Peabody Energy Corp. (NextEra-Duke: Wall Street Journal $, Charlotte Business Journal; Vistra Energy: E&E $, Utility Dive, Chicago Tribune; Arch Resources E&E $)