Coal-fired power plant to shut down unit, switch others to natural gas

The 450 MW B.L. England coal-fired power plant in Cape May County, N.J. will shut down one of its coal-fired units by fall 2013 and switch two others to natural gas to reduce emissions from the plant by 2016.

RC Cape May Holdings LLC will shut down one coal-burning unit at B.L. England under the terms of an Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The company will repower a second coal-burning unit to a state-of-the-art combined-cycle natural gas turbine and will re-fuel a third, oil-burning unit with natural gas. The fuel conversions could boost the plant’s capacity to 570 MW.

RC Cape May has owned the plant since 2007 when it purchased it from previous owners Atlantic Electric, Conectiv and Pepco Holdings Co. The DEP said the previous plant owners did not make required emissions control upgrades as required under the Clean Air Act when they made upgrades to operational features of the plant.

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