PJM gets request for 2020 deactivation of Unit 2 at Wagner power plant

PJM Interconnection on June 16 got a request to deactivate, as of June 1, 2020, the 135-MW Unit 2 of the Wagner power plant, according to an updated list of pending deactivation requests issued June 17 by PJM.

As is the case for all of these lists, PJM doesn’t give the names of any owners of these plants. In this case, it says Wagner Unit 2 is 56 years old and is located in the “BGE” transmission zone. BGE means Baltimore Gas & Electric, the former owner of the 976-MW H.A. Wagner power plant in the Baltimore area, which is one of the RJS Power plants that recently became part of Talen Energy (NYSE: TLN).

The GenerationHub database shows Talen’s Wagner Unit 2 at 135 MW (net summer). The plant’s Unit 1 is fired by gas, Unit 3 is fired by coal, and Unit 4 and a small turbine are fired by oil. H.A. Wagner includes 440 MW of capacity burning coal, 410 MW of capacity burning fuel oil and 126 MW of capacity burning natural gas or fuel oil.

Said a May 1 prospectus that Talen Energy filed at the SEC ahead of its June 1 IPO: “On December 1, 2014, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a notice of proposed action to adopt new regulations, to place NOX emissions limits on coal-fired electric generation units within Maryland and require certain units to either put on SCRs, repower to natural gas or shut down by June 2020. These regulations, if promulgated as proposed, will apply to certain RJS Power generation units within Maryland and will require Crane 1 and 2 and Wagner 2 to make such an election by June 2020.”

Talen Energy spokesperson Todd Martin on June 18 told GenerationHub that this deactivation request is primaryily due to a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission capacity performance rule where a company must make “must offer” designations for generating units. Due to unit cost issues, Talen took an exception to the rule for Wagner Unit 2 that basically allows it, but does not mandate it, to shut Wagner Unit 2 in June 2020. Martin said the NOx rule for Maryland mentioned in the prospectus is a lesser factor in the Wagner Unit 2 decisionmaking.

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.