Buyer for Power Plants?
Washington PA Observer Reporter
14 September 2013
WAYNESBURG (AP) — A buyer may exist for two southwestern
Pennsylvania coal-fired power plants that are scheduled to close,
but a labor union leader complained that Ohio-based owner
FirstEnergy Corp. would rather close them and drive up the price
of electricity, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
International Electric Power, a Pittsburgh-based company that
invests on power projects abroad, told the newspaper on Friday
that they are interested in the Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station and
Mitchell Power Station.
At a state Senate hearing Friday in Waynesburg, state officials
urged FirstEnergy to find a buyer for the two plants. But
FirstEnergy officials told lawmakers they have had no offers for
the plants and insisted that the plants are unprofitable, given
the expense to meet toughening federal air quality standards and
an industry shift toward cheaper natural gas from the Marcellus
About 380 employees could be out of work if the plants close as
scheduled Oct. 9.
Bob Whalen, president of System Local 102, the utility workers
union, said he believes FirstEnergy wants to close the plants to
drive up the price for electricity from its other power plants in
Valley Forge-based PJM Interconnection, the grid operator that
distributes electricity to Pennsylvania and 12 other states, had
asked FirstEnergy in August to delay closing the plants out of
concern for the supply of electricity in the region. But on
Friday, PJM senior vice president Andy Ott said it does not seem
as though FirstEnergy is making “an irrational decision” to close
the plants and that any delay in closing them would be brief.
Robert Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility
Commission, told lawmakers at the hearing that he hopes federal
officials might agree to make Hatfield’s Ferry a pilot site for
carbon capture and sequestration technology, saving it from