Texas-based power provider Vistra will retire its entire fleet of coal plants in Illinois and Ohio by 2027 as part of its plan to reinvent itself as a renewable energy and battery company.
Together, the coal plants slated for closure account for 6.8 gigawatts of generation capacity — equal to around 15% of Illinois’ total power capacity. Five of the seven coal plants Vistra named are in Illinois.
A major power producer and retailer, Vistra had acquired several of the plants in 2018 after merging with energy company Dynegy. But like scores of other power companies before it, Vistra has struggled to make the coal plants profitable amid a surge in supply of natural gas, falling electricity prices, and newly competitive wind and solar farms. It also faced tightening environmental restrictions that would have forced onerous new investments to reign in pollutants.
The scheduled closures are only the latest in