FAIRMONT (AP) — Three coal-fired power plants in West Virginia will soon stop generating electricity under a plan by FirstEnergy Corp. to shutter some aging facilities because of new environmental regulations.
Saturday will be the last day of power generation for FirstEnergy Corp.’s Albright, Rivesville and Willow Island power plants.
FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin tells The Times-West Virginian that some workers likely will remain on the job for a short period. They will deactivate the plants and take care of permits and environmental regulations.
The plants employ a total 210 workers.
Ohio-based FirstEnergy announced the closures in February and attributed them to new federal environmental regulations aimed at reducing emissions of mercury and other toxic pollution.
Durbin said the company determined that retrofitting the plants to meet the new standards was not economically feasible.
“It was in no reflection at all of the job that the employees were doing,” Durbin said.
FirstEnergy also plans to retire six coal-fired plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Durbin said the West Virginia plants have contributed less than 1 percent of the company’s electricity over the past three years. They served mostly as peaking facilities.
Some employees were given the opportunity to work at other FirstEnergy operations. An enhancement retirement option was offered to workers who qualified. Severance packages were offered to the remaining employees.
“We’ve actually worked very hard to try to take care of our employees as best as we could,” Durbin said.
He said many of the workers have taken other jobs with the company or the retirement option.