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PJM's Coal Use // Geothermal in Nevada // Heat Pumps in Sweden

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: PJM and coal, geothermal advances in Nevada, and heat pumps in Sweden.

PJM Coal Use Drops

Africa Mining and industry

Coal use in PJM, the nation’s largest wholesale electricity market, has rapidly fallen in the past decade, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration.

In 2023, coal-fired generation contributed 14% of PJM’s generation, while it made up 18% of its generating capacity. By comparison, in 2013, the capacity factor of coal-fired power plants in the market was 56%, when coal-fired power made up 44% of the market’s generation and 38% of its capacity.

Coal is currently the third largest energy source in PJM, after natural gas and nuclear. However, the RTO has said that it will retire nearly 20% of its coal capacity by 2028.

Google, Nevada Utility Partner on Geothermal

Hverir Boiling Mud Pot, Iceland.

Fervo Energy plans to develop a geothermal power plant that will provide 115 megawatts of electricity (enough to power 86,000 homes) to NV Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy. NV will then sell the electricity to Google, which will use it to power data centers.

Fervo Energy uses enhanced geothermal techniques such as vertical and horizontal drilling to extract abundant energy. While more costly, enhanced geothermal is not as geographically constrained and has great potential to be deployed in the U.S.

Last year, Fervo made its initial commercial breakthrough in enhanced geothermal.

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