Cost/Risk Analysis of Coal Ash Pond Closures

Presented by

Dr. Joseph Yeasted, PhD

About this talk

Many electric utilities are planning to close coal-burning power plants within this decade, which will require the closure of more than 700 active and abandoned coal ash disposal units under EPA’s 2015 Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rule and State-level solid waste regulations. Although the closure options are generally limited, significant trade-offs exist among the options in terms of the cost of closure, the level of future obligations, the potential for property redevelopment, and the degree of compliance with the CCR Rule. The decisional uncertainty is exacerbated by EPA’s shifting interpretation of the CCR Rule with the changeout of presidential administrations and the increased influence of non-governmental organizations (environmental groups) provided by the CCR Rule. The sheer size and varied construction of coal ash ponds, as well as their typical location adjacent to major water bodies, increase the technical challenges and add to cost uncertainty. In this presentation, Dr. Yeasted will present a probabilistic financial risk model that fully integrates PrecisionTree and @RISK to comparatively evaluate the cost/risk profile of coal ash pond closure. He will also discuss how the results can support clients in their decision-making process.

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