By Editors of Power Engineering
The Public Service Enterprise Group will permanently shut down its last two New Jersey-based coal-fired plants this week.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said the company’s decision to shutter the 632-MW Mercer Generating Station in Hamilton Township, New Jersey and the 660-MW Hudson Generating Station in Jersey City was due to sustained low prices of natural gas.
Six years ago, the company spent more than $1 billion in upgrades to environmental controls at the plants to comply with federal emissions standards.
“We made a bet on high gas prices,” said Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s chief executive, to the Inquirer. “We got that wrong.”
PSEG lost $555 million last year on the plant closures and is expected to write off up to $960 million this year.
Though Mercer ran nearly every day ten years ago and generated more than three million MW/h, the plant produced just 1,867 MW/h in 2016 on just two days in January. The plant has been idle ever since.
New Jersey now have just two coal-fired plants in the state, including the 225-MW Logan Generating Plant and a 261-MW plant operated by Chambers Cogeneration LP.
PSEG still operates the Bridgeport Harbor plant in Connecticut, which is slated for retirement and replacement in 2021. It also has ownership plants in the Keystone and Connemaugh coal plants in Pennsylvania, though Izzo said the company will not invest in new coal.