SCE&G to retire three coal-fired power plants by 2018

As part of its annual Integrated Resource Plan filed May 30 with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) announced plans to retire up to six coal-fired generating units at three power plants by the end of 2018. The units range in age from 45 to 57 years and are SCE&G’s oldest and smallest coal-fired units.

The plan calls for the retirement of Unit 1 at the Canadys Plant by the end of 2012 and switching Unit 3 at the Urquhart Plant from coal to natural gas by the end of 2012. Additional plans are to switch units 1 and 2 at the McMeekin Plant and units 2 and 3 at the Canadys Plant from coal to natural gas by 2015; then retiring the Canadys units by 2017 and the McMeekin units and Urquhart Unit 3 by the end of 2018.

Since 2008, SCE&G has installed more than $600 million in emissions control equipment at its largest coal-fired power plants. The company said that adding emissions controls at the smaller plants would not be a good business decision at this time, according to a release.

“Since announcing our new nuclear project in 2008, we’ve said that the addition of the two new nuclear units would give us flexibility to look at reducing our reliance on coal and allow us to achieve better fuel diversity in our electric generation portfolio,” said Kevin Marsh, Chairman and CEO of SCE&G’s parent company, SCANA Corp. “With the planned retirement of these coal units and the addition of our two new nuclear units, we anticipate that by the end of 2018 roughly one-third of our electric generation will be fueled by nuclear power, one-third by natural gas, and one-third by scrubbed coal-fired plants.”

SCE&G employs about 170 people at the three plants.

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