First U.S. coal plant in years opens where no options exist

DownloadOK, environmentalists, just what kind of energy would you like them to use in Fairbanks? Solar? 

One way to boost coal in the U.S.: Find a spot near a mine with no access to oil or natural gas pipelines, where it’s not particularly windy and it’s dark much of the year.

That’s how the first coal-fired plant to open in the U.S. since 2015 bucked the trend in an industry that’s seen scores of facilities close in recent years. A 17-megawatt generator, built for $245 million, is set to open in April at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, just 100 miles from the state’s only coal mine.