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NRG’s Avon Lake Power Plant to Continue Burning Coal

NRG announced last Friday it would continue to burn coal at its Avon Lake power plant in Ohio. The plant had planned to switch to cleaner-burning natural gas, but decided instead to add new pollution control measures to its existing coal-fired boilers to meet emissions regulations.
The previous plan to convert to natural gas-fired boilers was thwarted by the forthcoming mating season of the endangered Indiana Bat. New natural gas-fired boilers would have necessitated the installation of a 20-mile, 36-inch natural gas pipeline, which in turn would have necessitated the removal of trees to make room for digging. Because the trees were not removed in time to accommodate the mating habits of protected bats, alternative plans to upgrade the plant had to be adopted.
Additionally, new rules recently issued by PJM Interconnection, as well as objections to the pipeline by property owners in its path, also played a role in NRG’s decision to revise its plans.
The coal-fired plant will be fitted with new emission controls beginning in 2016.