Coal power plant facilities are a primary employer and a key tax revenue generator for the communities they operate in, but the rapid transition toward alternative and renewable energy sources is changing the landscape.
Of the more than 13,000 coal power plants globally, some 4,600 have closed or are set to close soon, and these numbers are only projected to continue upward as cleaner, cheaper sources of energy push coal out and commitments to global climate goals are realized.
This is a move that is as advantageous for the environment as it is a tremendous opportunity for owners, operators, developers, and even larger for communities far and wide to build toward highest and best use for the future.
Early, proactive responses and an active role in what the future of these sites from community leaders for purchase or investment provides key benefits for cities, nationally and worldwide.
It starts one plant and one community at a time, making the choice to decommission, and then taking steps to see what could happen next. Often complex, yet promising, recent projects are establishing a potential approach for the post-industrial future of coal-fired power plants.
What does it look like when these places are reimagined? Let’s take a trip to the shores of Ohio’s Lake Erie and the former site of the Avon Lake coal power plant as an example.