Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave

NO INJURIES were reported Wednesday in a coal silo collapse at a power generation facility in West Virginia, just 10 days ahead of the plant’s scheduled shutdown.
Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave Coal silo collapse sending plant to early grave

 

Donna Schmidt

An Associated Press report Wednesday, citing operator Mon Power spokesperson Mark Durbin, said the No 2 silo collapsed Monday at the Albright power plant in Preston County.

He added one contractor trying to get away from the damage injured his back, but was treated and released from a local medical facility.

The plant, owned by large Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy, was set to be taken offline September 1.

The company first announced in February it would close Albright as well as the Rivesville and Willow Island plants in Pleasants County due to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed Mercury and Air Toxic Standards regulations.

Albright and the others are older and less efficient facilities in FirstEnergy’s portfolio.

Engineers are now looking into the cause of the collapse, but in the meantime the operation may see a slightly earlier retirement as Durbin told the news service it was not currently operating while crews work rapidly to conduct a thorough investigation in the plant’s final days.

“It looks as if it probably won't be producing electricity by September 1," he said.

The closures of the three plants will send about 105 workers to the unemployment line.

The plants’ total capacity is 660 megawatts, or about 3% of FirstEnergy’s total portfolio.

It was the second group of closures to be announced by FirstEnergy; in January the company said it would cease operations the Bay Shore plant units at Eastlake in Ashtabula, Lake Shore plants in Ohio, the Armstrong power station at Adrian in Pennsylvania and the R Paul Smith power station in Williamsport, Maryland.

The idling of those six plants, also set for September 1, will pink-slip more than 500 workers.

The group makes up 2689MW, or about 10% of total electricity portfolio-wide.

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