FirstEnergy Corp. has announced that it expects to deactivate two coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania by October 9, 2013. The decision is based on the cost of compliance with current and future environmental regulations, combined with the currently low market price for electricity.
The plants, which will be deactivated, are Hatfield's Ferry power plant in Masontown, Pa., and the Mitchell power plant in Courtney, Pa. The total capacity of the two plants is 2080 MW, approximately 10% of the company's total generating capacity. However, they also represent about 30% of the estimated US$ 925 million cost of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
In total, about 380 plant employees and generation related positions could be affected.
With the deactivation of the two plants, in addition to the nine plants the company announced for deactivation last year, nearly 100 percent of the power generated by FirstEnergy will come from resources that are either non- or low-emitting, including nuclear, hydro, pumped-storage hydro, natural gas and scrubbed coal units. The company expects to invest approximately $650 million in MATS-related control technology to enhance or modify existing air quality equipment or install new equipment on its remaining facilities.
The deactivation of the plants is subject to review for reliability impacts by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission operator that controls the area where they are located.
Adapted from press release by Samuel Dodson
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