Regional grid manager PJM has recommended that the last coal-fired unit at the Indian River Power Plant near Millsboro remain open into 2026.
PJM’s recommendation and NRG’s response went to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
PJM, which manages a grid system in the Mid-Atlantic Region and in portions of the Midwest, determined that the grid in the area around the plant needs to be strengthened before the coal-fired plant is retired.
The plant had been scheduled to close this year after wholesale electricity bids came in below figures that would allow for profitable operation.
PJM calls for the plant to be compensated for its higher costs of operation while PJM works on ways to strengthen the grid in the region.
Also, there is the possibility that the Indian River plant site would be the place where powerlines from the Skipjack offshore wind project would come ashore. No determination has been made, although officials of project developer Ørsted said Delaware is the likely location where electric lines would connect to the grid.
Indian River is the last coal-fired power plant in Delaware.
The Skipjack and US Wind offshore sites are about 19 miles off the coast of Maryland and Delaware.
Another possibility is additional wind farms off the Delaware Coast. The U.S. Department opened up areas off the coast for wind development
Also entering the picture are larger solar farms that are springing up through Delmarva.