After 54 years, plans have been announced to close the Coffeen power plant by year’s end.
Vistra Energy and its subsidiaries have announced they will retire four Illinois power plants in order to meet the requirements of the recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule imposed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
Aside from Coffeen, the others are the Duck Creek Power Plant in Canton, the Havana Power Plant, and the Hennepin Power Plant.
Vistra Energy says the plant retirements are required by a revised rule, regulating emissions at eight power plants operated by Vistra subsidiaries. The revised rule requires that the company permanently shut down 2,000 megawatts of capacity from its group of plants by the end of the year, pending approval by grid operators and approval of the termination of certain tariffs by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Vistra reports the decision to retire these four plants resulted from a plant-by-plant analysis that evaluated several factors in making retirement decisions, including ensuring compliance with the new emissions caps set forth in the revised rule, plant economics, federal energy regulations, and market rules. Consideration was also given to prioritize retirement of higher emitting plants.
If approved, Vistra expects to cease operations at all four sites by the end of the year. The company says it will take the necessary steps to responsibly decommission the facilities in accordance with all federal and state regulations.
Approximately 300 jobs will be eliminated across the four plant sites. Vistra is providing outplacement services and working with state workforce agencies to assist the employees impacted by the closures.
Plant closures can have detrimental impacts to the communities in which they are located, but Vistra says it aims to mitigate this impact by growing its Illinois business with newer technologies.
The Coffeen Power Plant, a coal-powered 915 megawatt power plant built in 1965, has approximately 95 employees.