According to a release from FirstEnergy Corp., three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia will be closed as of Sept. 1.
The closure includes the Willow Island plant in Pleasants County.
The following plants will be retired: Albright Power Station, Willow Island Power Station, and Rivesville Power Station. In total, 105 employees will be directly affected, according to the company news release.
The decision to close the plants is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which were recently finalized, and other environmental regulations, the release states.
"The total capacity of these regulated plants is 660 megawatts (MW), about 3 percent of FirstEnergy's total regulated and competitive generation portfolio. Recently, these plants served mostly as peaking facilities, generating, on average, less than 1 percent of the electricity produced by FirstEnergy over the past three years," the release stated.
This follows FirstEnergy's announcement last month that its competitive generation subsidiaries would retire six older, coal-fired power plants located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland by September 1, 2012.
"The high cost to implement MATS and other environmental rules is the reason these Mon Power plants are being retired," said James R. Haney, regional president of Mon Power and president of West Virginia Operations for FirstEnergy, in a statement on the company's website.
The compnay said the number of affected employees could be less than 105 as some will be considered for open positions at other FirstEnergy facilities and work locations. In addition, existing severance benefits will apply to eligible affected employees and certain employees may take advantage of an additional benefit being offered to those who are eligible for retirement.
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