Energy Northwest Cancels Plans to Build Kalama Power Facility

This is a 2544-ton-per-day coal gasification plant on the Wabash River in Indiana. (Photo: Department of Energy)

This is a 2544-ton-per-day coal gasification plant on the Wabash River in Indiana. (Photo: Department of Energy)

Energy Northwest has withdrawn its application for the Pacific Mountain Energy Facility (PMEC) in Kalama.  In a letter this month to the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), Energy Northwest explained its decision saying, “Our efforts have determined that the financial and economic conditions do not support a project of this size.”

Originally slated to be a $1.5 billion coal gasification plant, Energy Northwest had amended its plans for a coal powered plant in favor of natural gas in response to environmental objections raised by the Rosemere Neighborhood Association and Columbia Riverkeeper, Willapa Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter and Northwest Energy Coalition.

In the fall of 2007, the six environmental groups along with the WA Attorney General and Department of Ecology were granted the legal status to intervene in the permitting process for Energy Northwest’s proposed coal-fueled plant in Kalama.  Those efforts paid off in September 2008 when Energy Northwest announced the change to natural gas for the facility.  Click here for more on that story.

Energy Northwest’s decision to drop its application signaled “..a great day for clean air and clean water,” said Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of the environmental group Columbia Riverkeeper.

“There was that local fight going on, but the state decision to move away from coal-fired electrical generation was the final nail in the coffin,” VandenHeuvel said.

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