FirstEnergy Corp. will shut down power generating units at six old coal-fired power plants, including one along the Allegheny River in Armstrong County, rather than install federally mandated pollution controls.
The Akron-based electric power company announced Thursday that it will close the 356 megawatt Armstrong Power Plant in Adrian, Armstrong County, by September. The 53-year-old plant employs 60, but has only been operating at between 20 and 50 percent capacity during the last three years due to reduced power demands.
FirstEnergy also will shutter four other old coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Maryland and one generating unit at a fifth, the Bayshore Plant on Lake Erie in Ohio. The closings will affect 530 employees, but some may transfer to other FirstEnergy facilities if there are openings.
Charlie Lasky, FirstEnergy vice president for fossil fleet operations, said upgrading the power plants to meet new federal mercury and air toxics rules that were finalized in December and take effect in 2015 would have been too expensive. The rules target emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants and will require many to install expensive pollution controls.
In addition to Armstrong and one of two units at Bayshore, FirstEnergy will close power plants in Ashtabula, Oregon and Eastlake in Ohio and Williamsport, Md.
Don Hopey: email@example.com or 412-263-1983.