The New Castle coal-fired electric power plant will convert to natural gas to keep the facility open past the original April 2015 closing date. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, NRG Energy will retrofit the plant and hopes to have the switch completed by May 2016.
Converting the plant will create 50 to 100 temporary construction jobs. The coal-to-gas conversion will also save 40 full-time jobs at the power plant, the Post-Gazette reported. GenOn Energy was the previous owner of the plant, which is one of eight coal-fired electric power generating plants originally scheduled to be closed in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey.
"The New Castle plant shutdown was announced because it would have required a substantial investment in environmental controls to continue to operate as a coal-burning facility," said Dave Gaier, Dave Gaier, NRG Energy's East Region spokesman. "But we looked at it and decided it could be operated economically on natural gas. We won't have to install the extremely expensive controls that would have been required to continue operating on coal."