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PJM: FirstEnergy can retire coal plants without reliability detriment

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Regional grid operator PJM Interconnection has determined FirstEnergy Corp. can retire generation units at two western Pennsylvania power plants without detriment to reliability.

Transmission upgrades and temporary operating measures can handle the impacts, Montgomery County-based PJM said.

Ohio-based FirstEnergy said this summer it expected to shut down the coal-fired Hatfield’s Ferry and Mitchell power stations by October, subject to review for potential reliability impacts.

FirstEnergy said its reasons were continued low market prices as well as current and future environmental regulations. The facilities have about 2,080 megawatts of capacity.

The power stations represent about 30 percent of what FirstEnergy, parent firm of utility Metropolitan Edison Co. serving parts of the midstate, had anticipated spending on federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards compliance.

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