Big Rivers Electric Corp. announced it would idle 860 MW of coal-fired generation in western Kentucky by June 1.
The single-unit, 417 MW Wilson coal-fired power plant in Ohio County will be idled on Feb. 1, while the three-unit, 443 MW Coleman plant in Hancock County will be idled on June 1, according to Marty Littrel, managing director communications and community relations with Big Rivers. Littrel did say the Coleman plant could be idled sooner.
The temporary shut down will affect 188 positions, including vacancies that had not been filled. Big Rivers will idle the plants until replacement power is found.
The plants will be idled after two aluminum smelters in the area, the Centuries Hawesville and Centuries Sebree, ended electric service agreements with Big Rivers in 2013. The smelters had the largest electric loads in western Kentucky, Littrel said. The Hawesville smelter left the system in August 2013 and the Sebree smelter will be leaving at the end of January. Littrel said Sebree brought Big Rivers $155 million in annual revenues, and Hawesville brought in $200 million.
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