We all know “need” for electricity is down, down, down:

PJM 2009 3rd Quarter State of the Market

Take a few minutes and scan that report — it’s telling it like it is.  Prices down 40+ % and demand down at least 4+% this year so far (that’s what they’ll admit to, and I figure it’s a lot worse than that!).

Decreased demand was a reason for cutting out the Indian River – Salem part of the MAPP line…

HOT OFF THE PRESS, decreased demand is the reason coal plants are being shut down in Pennsylvania, FOUR coal plants in Pennsylvania:

Exelon to close 4 Penn. generating units by 2011

December 2, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Exelon will shut four 50-year-old power generating stations near Philadelphia in 2011 that the power generator says are no longer economic to operate and are unnecessary to meet shrinking demand for electricity in the region.

About 280 jobs will be eliminated, but the company said Wednesday that it is looking for ways to reduce that number through such efforts as putting workers in other open jobs and buyouts.

Exelon, based in Chicago and one of the nation’s largest power companies, said it will record pretax charges totaling $258 million related to the shutdowns through 2011.

The company will close two units at the Cromby Generating Station in Phoenixville and two units at Eddystone Generating Station in Eddystone effective May 31, 2011.

“Decreased power demand, over supply of natural gas and increasing operating costs, has led Exelon Power to retire these units,” Doyle Beneby, senior vice president of Exelon Power, said in a statement.

The announcement comes a day after Progress Energy said it will close 11 coal-burning power plants in North Carolina that do not have scrubbers by 2017. The units represent about 30 percent of the company’s power generation from coal.

The company will continue to operate three coal-fired plants in North Carolina after 2017 that are equipped with emission controls at a cost of more than $2 billion.

The plan was prompted by state regulators ordering the company to provide retirement plans for the coal-burning plants that lack scrubbers to reduce emissions. Some of the plants are more than 50 years old.

For Exelon, one unit at Cromby operates on coal and the other on either natural gas or fuel oil. They were put into operation in 1954 and 1955. The station will close when the units are retired.

The Eddystone units were put into operation in 1960 and both operate on coal. Two other units that run on either natural gas or coal and four oil-burning units will continue to operate at the station.

Alan says that the Eddystone ones are a couple of the first supercritical coal plants around, they’ve been running for ages.  But that they’d close down the coal and keep oil-burning units?  What gives?  Peaking power?  Or???  Doesn’t make sense to me.  It doesn’t get much dirtier than burning fuel oil.  Those have to go too…