Coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pa. to close

coal plant smoke stacks

Coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania owned by GenOn Holdings will be permanently retired.

The company announced June 9 that the Avon Lake Generating Station, in Avon Lake, Ohio, and Cheswick Generating Station, in Springdale, Pennsylvania, will be retired by Sept. 15.

“The decision to initiate the retirement of these coal units is driven by unfavorable economic conditions, higher costs including those associated with environmental compliance, an inability to compete with other generation types, and evolving market rules that promote subsidized resources,” the company said, in a statement.

Both plants were commissioned in 1970. The Avon Lake plant, in Lorain County, had 627MW of electric generating capacity. A small, oil-fired unit that came online in 1973 located at the site will also be retired.

The Cheswick plant had 565MW of generating capacity. It was the last coal-fired power plant in  Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located.

It was not clear how many people would lose their jobs as a result of the closure but GenOn chief executive officer Dave Freysinger said, in a statement, the company “will provide transition assistance, including advance notice, severance payments and access to health care, in accordance with our contracts and policies to all affected workers.”

Another plant, Morgantown Generating Station, in Newburg, Md., is also being retired next June. The company said it applied with PJM, the regional grid, for deactivation for all three plants.

GenOn Holdings, based in Houston, has power plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland, including 13 natural gas facilities in Pennsylvania. It announced the retirement of its other two coal plants, both located in Maryland, last summer.

The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2018. It was previously part of NRG Energy Inc.

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