FirstEnergy plans April shutdowns at three coal plants in Ohio

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE), which in the past couple of years has already shut some of its coal-fired capacity for clean-air reasons, has other coal-fired shutdowns coming up in April of this year, when the federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) kick in.

Buried (in Slide 126) in its Feb. 17 earnings presentation is a list of coal-fired plants that have been lately or will be deactivated. Notable is that deactivation is not retirement, but a restart of any deactivated plant is very unlikely. Those plants are:

  • Eastlake Units 1-5, Ohio, 1,233 MW, deactivation September 2012 (Units 4-5), April 2015 (Units 1-3);
  • Bay Shore Units 2-4, Ohio, 495 MW, deactivation September 2012;
  • Armstrong, Pennsylvania, 356 MW, deactivation September 2012;
  • Lake Shore Unit 18, Ohio, 245 MW, deactivation April 2015;
  • Ashtabula Unit 5, Ohio, 244 MW, under reliability must run (RMR) status until April 2015;
  • R. Paul Smith Units 3-4, Maryland, 116 MW, deactivation September 2012;
  • Hatfield Units 1-3, (also known as Hatfields Ferry), Pennsylvania, 1,710 MW, deactivation October 2013; and
  • Mitchell Units 2-3, Pennsylvania, 370 MW, deactivation October 2013.

In 2015, nearly 100% of the power the competitive portfolio generates is expected to come from low- or non-emitting sources, including nuclear, natural gas, scrubbed coal and renewable energy.

FirstEnergy’s total cost estimate for MATS compliance costs is $178m, of which $56m has been spent through 2014. The MATS projects by plant are:

  • Bay Shore Unit 1, Ohio, 136 MW, baghouse fabric filter changes, mini activated carbon injection (ACI) system, continuous emissions monitors (CEMS);
  • Sammis Units 1-7, Ohio, 2,220 MW, precipitator controls, CEMS;
  • Mansfield 1-3, Pennsylvania, 2,490 MW, wet scrubber changes, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) changes, CEMS; and
  • Pleasants 1 and 2, West Virginia, 1,300 MW, precipitator changes, scrubber changes, SCR catalyst, duct repairs, CEMS.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.