General Electric’s power unit fights for growth as wind, solar gain


Yes, traditional power is changing FAST.

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Reuters

Vistra Energy Corp and Dominion Energy Inc — which serve about 5.5 million electricity customers in more than a dozen US states — both say they are done building combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plants.

Instead, they are building large solar plants, which offer plentiful and inexpensive electricity.

This bearish view of fossil-fuel energy, reflective of a growing acceptance by utilities of renewable power sources, poses a hurdle to John Flannery’s plan to turn around General Electric Co’s US$35 billion-a-year power unit.

With electricity prices trending downward, utilities are increasingly unwilling to risk capital on a new plant unless then can lock in a long-term price, executives said.

“Building new large, combined-cycle gas plants is challenging without the stability of a long-term power contract,” said Timothy Menzie, chief executive officer of InterGen, an international power generation company.

POWER PLAYER

GE faces a further challenge: long-term erosion of the large base…

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