Power Magazine just reported that Talen, the operator of the Colstrip coal plant in Montana has decided to continue operating the plant. (see here) In 2016 management said they wanted to leave the plant by 2016 because they were going to lose millions of dollars. Now Talen has decided to stay. The following chart shows monthly generation at the plant, and you can see that so far in 2017 it has generated slightly more electricity than last year, but this May was substantially more than 2016.
It is interesting to note that Talen originally made its exit announcement in May of last year. If you look at historic natural gas prices, this is right before prices shot up after having spent months below $2/mmbtu. So maybe the change in plans is just based on higher natural gas prices.
Another possibility is that with Riverstone Holdings’ purchasing Talen last year, there has been a change in strategy at the company. Whatever the reason, it seems like Talen is now betting on a positive outlook for at least some coal generation.