Texas-based energy company Vistra plans to accelerate its transition to clean power generation sources and advance efforts to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The company launched Vistra Zero, a portfolio of zero-carbon power generation facilities, which includes seven new developments — some solar, solar + storage and standalone energy storage — in its primary market of ERCOT that total nearly 1,000 MW.
In addition, Vistra established further long-term emissions reduction targets, released its first climate report and announced its intention to retire all of its generation subsidiaries’ coal plants in Illinois and Ohio.
“The aggregate impact of these milestone initiatives is clear: Vistra’s commitment to our transformation to a low-to-no-carbon future is unequivocal and offers unique opportunities for growth and innovation,” said Curt Morgan, president and CEO of Vistra. “As evidenced by the actions we take and investments we make, Vistra is paving its way for a sustainable future — economically and environmentally — and we’ve been focused on transitioning our generation portfolio for the benefit of the environment, our customers, our communities, our people and our shareholders.
“Importantly, Vistra’s leadership on these issues will not impact our core mission to provide consumers with reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy while lowering emissions,” Morgan continued. “Electricity is an essential resource, and the demand for it will continue to grow as climate initiatives are implemented and the economy is further electrified. So, while the way we produce electricity is changing, our essential role in the process and core mission will not. Vistra is well-positioned to not only prove our resiliency during this important transformation to cleaner generation sources, but to lead the way. Our value proposition has never been stronger, and our sustainability has never been clearer.”
New Zero-Carbon Development Projects: Vistra Zero
Vistra, which is developing the 400-MW/1,600-MWh Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in California, is breaking ground on six new solar projects and one energy storage project. These new zero-carbon developments, represent a capital investment of approximately $850 million and are all located in the Texas ERCOT market.
- Andrews Solar Facility, Andrews County, 100 MW
- Brightside Solar Facility, Live Oak County, 50 MW
- Emerald Grove Solar Facility, Crane County, 108 MW
- Upton 2 Solar and Energy Storage Facility, Phase III, Upton County, 10 MW solar — bringing its total solar capacity to 190 MW
DeCordova Energy Storage Facility, Hood County, 260 MW/260 MWh. Co-located on the site of Luminant’s natural gas-fueled DeCordova Power Plant
- Forest Grove Solar Facility, Henderson County, 200 MW
- Oak Hill Solar Facility, Rusk County, 200 MW
- The Vistra Zero portfolio also includes the company’s existing nuclear, renewable and energy storage facilities:
- Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (2,300 MW)
- Upton 2 Solar (180 MW) and Energy Storage Facility (10 MW/42 MWh)
- Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility (400 MW/1,600 MWh) – 300 MW Phase I expected online December 2020; 100 MW Phase II expected online by August 2021
- Oakland Energy Storage Facility (36.25 MW/ 145 MWh) – expected online January 2022
Vistra continues to evaluate additional solar and battery projects, including more than 1,000 MW in Texas, more than 1,000 MW in California and approximately 450 MW in Illinois under the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act. Vistra is also exploring potential future development opportunities at many of the company’s existing power plant sites.
Updated 2030/2050 Emissions Reduction Targets
Consistent with its strategic priorities, the company also accelerated its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Vistra is now setting out a 60% reduction, up from 50%, in CO2 equivalent emissions by 2030 as compared to a 2010 baseline, and a long-term objective to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, up from an 80% reduction target, by 2050.
CO2 Reductions Through Coal Retirements
Vistra also announced its next phase of coal plant closures in Illinois and Ohio. The company expects to retire seven Luminant power plants, of which the company owns a combined capacity of more than 6,800 MW, between 2022 and 2027.
Since the company’s leadership change in 2016, Vistra and its subsidiaries have closed or announced the closure of 19 coal plants totaling more than 16,000 MW across Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts. In total, Vistra and its subsidiaries have now retired or announced the retirement of more than 19,000 MW at 23 coal and natural gas plants since 2010.
Vistra’s Climate Report
A review of Vistra’s climate strategy is contained in Vistra’s first “Climate Report“. Among other topics, the climate report discusses various climate-related risks and opportunities that Vistra management has identified as influencing the company’s long-term strategy.
News item from Vistra