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Luminant to idle three coal-fired units

Dallas-based Luminant, the state's biggest electricity generator, has told the Electric Reliability Council of Texas it plans to shut its  750-megawatt Martin Lake 3 unit by mid-December. That's in addition to two units at Luminant's Monticello power plant already scheduled to shut temporarily Oct. 1, Reuters reports in a story here. All are coal-fired.

"We want to operate as much of our generation as we can, but it does not make economic sense to operate a unit at a financial loss," Luminant spokeswoman Meranda Cohn said in a statement.

Summer is Texas' peak power use, and Luminant said that  in 2014 the Martin Lake units will operate year-round and Martin Lake 3 will operate only from June to September, Cohn said.

Texas regulators are working to raise wholesale the regulatory ceiling on wholesale power prices in the state's $29 billion electric market, as new generation capacity has lagged demand growth. ERCOT, the state's largest power grid, aims for a 13.75 percent margin of capacity over supply. That has been shrinking in recent years and is expected to fall below that level in 2014.

-- Jim Fuquay



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