NRG wants to shut two coal-fired power plants in Maryland
Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc said Tuesday it wants to shut over 1,200 megawatts of capacity at two old coal-fired power plants in Maryland in 2017 primarily because the state is proposing to tighten its air emissions regulations.
"It is not economically feasible for us to add the emissions reductions systems needed to meet the state's proposed environmental regulations given the low natural gas and power prices," NRG spokesman David Gaier said.
The move follows plans by several generating companies to shut old coal plants as weak power and gas prices make it uneconomic to upgrade the units to meet increasingly strict federal and state environmental rules.
Natural gas prices are relatively low due to record shale gas production. The low gas prices have pushed power prices to near decade lows over the past couple of years.
NRG notified PJM Interconnection, the former Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland power grid operator, last week of its plan to shut the 182-megawatt Units 1-3 at the Dickerson plant and the 337-MW Unit 1 and the 341-MW Unit 2 at Chalk Point by May 31, 2017.
PJM operates the power grid in 13 U.S. Mid Atlantic and Midwest states and the District of Columbia.
One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.
The Dickerson units entered service between 1959 and 1962, while the Chalk Point units entered service in 1964 and 1965.
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