SCE&G to close coal-fired power plant early

South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) announced Tuesday it will accelerate its plans to retire two coal-fired power units at a power plant near Walterboro, S.C.

The two units at the Canadys Station power plant were scheduled to be converted to natural gas-fired units as an interim measure before retirement in 2017, but the company stated it decided to retire the plant completely by the end of 2013 after evaluating system needs and analyzing the economics of the situation. A third coal-fired unit at the station had been retired in late 2012.

SCE&G had identified six units, including the three at Canadys Station, that would be taken offline or converted to natural gas as part of its integrated resource plan filed with the South Carolina Public Service Commission. The plan was filed in 2012 in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards.

The six units, which have a total of 730 MW of capacity, are SCE&G’s oldest and smallest coal-fired units, and the company stated in a release the planned retirements are part of its efforts to reduce emissions and achieve a more balanced power generation portfolio.

SCE&G President of Generation and Transmission and Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne said the company anticipates one-third of its electric generation to be fueled by nuclear power, one-third by natural gas and one-third by scrubbed coal-fired plants by 2018.

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