3 W.Va. Coal-Fired Power Plants to Close

Article excerpt

FirstEnergy Corp. will have shut down more than half of its coal- fired power plants by Sept. 1, the result of more stringent air pollution rules finalized late last year.

With an announcement on Wednesday that the Akron, Ohio-based company will close three old plants in West Virginia, the number of closures announced since last month hits nine.

FirstEnergy's seven remaining coal plants, including two in southwestern Pennsylvania, will continue operating, said Ray Evans, the company's executive director of environment.

"There will be no further closures based on what we currently know," Evans said yesterday.

The Albright, Willow Island and Rivesville power stations in West Virginia will be shuttered rather than upgraded to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's recently finalized Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and other environmental regulations, the company said. Those plants join the Armstrong Power Station in Adrian in Armstrong County and five other plants in Ohio and Maryland that FirstEnergy said last month also will close by Sept. 1.

The latest closings will impact 105 employees in West Virginia. The three plants mostly served as peaking facilities recently and generated less than 1 percent of FirstEnergy's electricity during the past three years, the company said. …