FirstEnergy Corp. has idled its largest coal-fired power plant due to low power prices, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The nearly 2,500-MW Bruce Mansfield plant in Shippinton, Pennsylvania has not run for nearly three weeks and has no restart date planned. The decision to idle the facility was made in late February.
A mild winter and low natural gas prices have colluded to render the coal-fired plant uncompetitive in the current market. As is required to receive capacity payments from PJM Interconnection, the plant continues to offer its services to the grid each day, informing PJM of the price at which the plant can operate economically, and awaiting PJM’s determination of whether or not to dispatch the plant’s capacity the following day.
Despite the shutdown, the plant’s 340 workers have been retained and are performing maintenance work until power prices rebound, again making the plant profitable to run.
Not as fortunate are the employees of Carmeuse Lime and Stone, the Pittsburgh-based company that provides lime for use in the plant’s scrubbers. Nearly half of the company’s 161 mine workers will be laid off in the coming weeks.