FirstEnergy to Close More Coal-Fired Power Plants
Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp. said Wednesday it plans to retire three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia.
The company's subsidiary, Monongahela Power Company (Mon Power), will turn the lights off at the Albright Power Station, the Willow Island Power Station, and the Rivesville Power Station by September 1 of this year. Collectively the plants are capable of generating 660 MW or 3% of FirstEnergy's total generation capacity.
This news comes almost two weeks after the company announced plans to shut down six coal-fired power plants located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland which have a combined generation capacity of 2,689 MW - which represents 10% of the utility's generation portfolio.
All nine plants are closing because of the cost FirstEnergy would have to bare to retrofit them to meet new Environmental Protection Agency emission standards, specifically the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) finalized in last December.
MATS may force the hand of other utilities to retire coal-fired generation as the industry claims the costs and timing frame given to meet the new standards are unrealistic.
James R. Haney, regional president of Mon Power and president of West Virginia Operations for FirstEnergy, echoed the comments made by FirstEnergy Generation president James Lash two weeks ago, saying, "The high cost to implement MATS and other environmental rules is the reason these Mon Power plants are being retired."
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