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Environment & Energy Report

Trump’s Next Big Idea to Save Coal Is Miniature Power Plants

March 15, 2018, 1:00 PM

The Energy Department is thinking small to save the beleaguered coal industry—literally.

The agency wants to spend $175 million on a program that would include designing at least two small-scale, coal-fired power plants. The units would have a capacity of about 200 megawatts, roughly one-third the size of a typical generator that uses coal.

Steven Winberg, assistant secretary of energy for fossil energy, told reporters at an energy conference in Houston last week the mini plants could be fired up more quickly than bigger ones. That would allow them to smooth out fluctuations in an electric grid that...

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