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Power producer Duke Energy to retire coal-fired plants in Ohio

By: Kanika Sikka |

Power company Duke Energy Corp outlined plans to retire the remaining coal-fired stations at its Ohio plant by the end of the month as it looks to cope with tightening power plant emission regulations.

Power utilities are cutting their exposure to coal-fired plants to comply with air emission regulations, the latest being the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to lower carbon emissions from existing plants to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Duke Energy will stop coal-fired power generation at its WC Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio, by retiring units 5 and 6, effective Sept. 1, the company said on Thursday.

Four oil-fired combustion turbines on the site will continue operations, while employees at the coal station would be moved to its nearby plants, Duke said.

Duke Energy Ohio had said in 2011 it would retire Beckjord Station’s coal-fired units 1 through 6, totaling 862 megawatts of generating capacity, by January 2015.

NRG Energy Inc said on Thursday it will spend about $567 million to reduce emissions from four coal-fired power plants in Illinois.