FirstEnergy weighs switch from coal to natural gas peaking plant

FirstEnergy Generation Corp., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has filed an application for a feasibility study with PJM Interconnection (PJM) to install up to 800 MW of new combustion turbine peaking generation at its existing Eastlake coal-fired power plant in Ohio.

On Jan. 26, FirstEnergy announced that it would retire six coal-fired power plants, including the Eastlake plant, in order to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). A preliminary PJM analysis identified reliability impacts as a result of the plants being retired.

FirstEnergy is considering installing four new natural gas/oil-fired combustion turbines as one of several options for the plant to address the reliability issues. If the option is implemented, it is anticipated that the turbines could be in service by the spring of 2015 when the MATS regulations take effect.

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