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FirstEnergy idles western Pennsylvania coal plant


AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Last month FirstEnergy idled the Bruce Mansfield coal burning power plant in Shippingport.

FirstEnergy has idled a coal burning power plant in western Pennsylvania due to historically low energy prices spurred by competition from cheap natural gas.
As the fracking boom continues to unlock large quantities of gas, the nation’s electric grid is shifting away from coal. 
The 340 workers at the Bruce Mansfield plant are still on the job in Shippingport. They are currently doing maintenance, but the plant is not generating power. This is the first time all three units have been taken offline since 1999.
“Energy prices are at historic lows,” says FirstEnergy spokeswoman Stephanie Walton. “It’s something we see as temporary. Our future plans for the plant haven’t changed. We expect it to be running again soon.”
Walton says the company is investing $260 million in the plant to construct a dewatering facility to process coal ash.

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