February 29, 2012 / 6:45 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-GenOn to shut 7 U.S. Mid-Atlantic coal power plants

* GenOn to deactivate 3,140 MW of generating capacity
    * Gas fired plants displacing coal in record numbers
    * More than 25,000 MW of coal to retire over decade

    By Scott DiSavino	
    Feb 29 (Reuters) - U.S. power generator GenOn Energy
Inc on Wednesday said it would deactivate 3,140
megawatts of mostly coal-fired generating capacity in
Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey by 2015 due to more stringent
federal environmental regulations.	
     Over the past few years, energy companies have announced
the shutdown or planned retirement of more than 30,000
 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired generation due to proposed
more stringent federal environmental regulations, weak power
market conditions and record switching from coal to natural
gas-fired generators as gas prices hold near 10-year lows.	
    For a Factbox on coal units to retire, see 	
    In its earnings release, GenOn said it would shut the units,
which are all located in the PJM power grid, between June 2012
and May 2015 because forecasted returns on investments necessary
to comply with environmental regulations were insufficient.	
    PJM operates the nation's biggest power grid covering all or
parts of 13 U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states.	
    GenOn's stock rose more than 7 percent, or 17 cents, to
$2.47 on the New York Stock Exchange.	
    Also on Wednesday, Midwest Generation, a unit of California
power company Edison International, agreed to shut two
coal-fired power plants in Chicago. 	
    The affected power plants are the following:	
Plant        State        Fuel        Size (MW)        Date	
Elrama         PA         Coal          460            Jun 2012	
Niles          OH         Coal          217            Jun 2012	
Portland       PA         Coal          401            Jan 2015	
Avon Lake      OH         Coal          732            Apr 2015	
New Castle     PA         Coal          330            Apr 2015	
Shawville      PA         Coal          597            Apr 2015	
Titus          PA         Coal          243            Apr 2015	
Glen Gardner   NJ         Natgas        160            May 2015	
                          Total       3,140	
    One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes in PJM.	
    GenOn said it expected to deactivate the units pending
further review based on market conditions, noting it was still
evaluating the potential return on investment if it installed
environmental controls at Avon Lake in Ohio.	
    The company also said Shawville, which is leased, would be
placed in long-term protective layup and the required lease
payments would continue to be made and the assets maintained in
accordance with the lease.	
    In addition to the plants announced Wednesday, GenOn also
noted previously announced fleet reductions, including:	
Plant        State        Fuel        Size (MW)        Date	
Vandolah       FL         Natgas        630            May 2012	
Potomac River  VA         Coal          482            Oct 2012	
Contra Costa   CA         Natgas        674            May 2013	
    GenOn said its tolling agreement for the Vandolah facility
in Florida would expire in May 2012.	
    The company also said the expected retirement of Contra
Costa was subject to regulatory approvals.	
    The total fleet reductions, including the sale of the
mothballed 586-MW Indian River plant in Florida and the
deactivations announced Wednesday totaled 5,512 MW, GenOn said.	
    After taking out the reductions announced through Wednesday
and adding in the 719-MW Marsh Landing natural gas plant in
California, which the company expects to enter service in
mid-2013, GenOn said it will have 19,490 MW of generating
    GenOn said it had invested about $2.4 billion since 2000 on
environmental controls for the existing plants the company
expected to keep in its fleet.	
    In addition, GenOn said it expects to invest another $586 to
$726 million over the next 10 years to install more controls at
some plants to meet air and water environmental regulations.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below