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Firm seeks OK to shutter Beaver Valley coal plant

AES Corp. may shut down its 125 megawatt coal plant in Monaca, AES Beaver Valley. The Virginia company filed with the region's grid operator, PJM Interconnection Inc., for permission to deactivate the plant June 1. AES spokesman Rich Bulger said the company was "disappointed in the recent PJM auction" that determines how much generators will be paid to stay open three years in the future. Earlier this year, AES Corp. announced plans to shut down other coal plants in Indiana and Ohio. Mr. Bulger cautioned that AES hasn't made a final decision about closing its Monaca plant, but wanted to secure the option by filing now.

$1.9M grant on the way to CMU researchers

Two Carnegie Mellon University researchers will receive $1.9 million over the next three years as part of a U.S. Department of Energy grant to study home and building energy efficiency. Anthony Rowe and Mario Berges are developing sensors and software to help building owners better measure and adjust energy use.

Consol laying off dozens following coal mines sale

Consol Energy Inc. is laying off about 80 employees following the close of its $3.5 billion deal with Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. The Cecil-based company completed the sale of five West Virginia coal mines Thursday. That evening, it started laying off people across several departments involved in business support for coal operations, including human resources, coal engineering, accounting, IT, purchasing, marketing and land resources. The head count reductions are part of Consol's promised $65 million in cost savings expected to be realized next year. No further layoffs are planned, said Tommy Johnson, a spokesman for Consol.

Consumer borrowing rose $18.2 billion in October

Americans boosted their borrowing in October, led by another big increase in auto and student loans and the biggest rise in credit card debt in five months. Consumers increased their borrowing by $18.2 billion in October to a seasonally adjusted $3.08 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. That is a record level and follows a September increase of $16.3 billion. The increase was led by a $13.9 billion rise in borrowing for auto loans and student loans. But borrowing in the category that covers credit cards rose by $4.3 billion following a decline of $218 million in September.

Flashlight app developer settles FTC charges

The creator of one of the most popular apps for Android mobile devices has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the free app, which allows a device to be used as a flashlight, deceived consumers about how their geolocation information would be shared with ad networks and other third parties. The settlement with Goldenshores Technologies, managed by Erik M. Geidl, the company behind the "Brightest Flashlight Free" app, agreed not to misrepresent how consumers' information is collected and shared. The company also agreed to improve disclosures and obtain consumers' express consent before sharing customer information.

Oil rises after strong U.S. employment report

The price of oil rose again Friday on signs of a stronger job market in the U.S. and finished the week with a gain of more than 5 percent. Those gains are showing up at the gas pump. The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. rose 1 cent to $3.26, the first increase in 10 days.

Sears to spin off Lands' End business

Sears Holdings Corp. said it will spin off its Lands' End clothing business as a separate company by distributing stock to the retailer's shareholders. It's the latest move by the struggling retailer to turn around its results as it faces wider losses and increasingly displeased investors.

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