- NRG Energy has put on hold its plan to convert its Avon Lake coal facility in Ohio to burn natural gas and will instead install pollution control equipment on two of its coal-fired units.
- The company proposed converting the plant to natural gas in 2013, but delays in developing a 20-mile pipeline to supply it factored into the decision to stick with coal.
- New PJM Interconnection rules also played a factor, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Starting next year, NRG Energy will begin installing pollution controls on two units at the Avon Lake facility to meet federal emission standards. While the company has not ruled out a future gas conversion, it appears that delays in siting the necessary pipeline led NRG to scrap the idea.
A year ago, NRG created its own pipeline company to supply natural gas to the power plant once it converted it.
But delays at the Ohio Power Siting Board this year slowed tree removal along the proposed right-of-way, which closed the window of opportunity to build the pipeline. Slowing tree removal allowed the endangered Indiana Bat's mating season to begin before NRG could remove the trees.
While NRG is scuttling the pipeline for now, spokesman David Gaier told the Plain Dealer that "the decision to remain on coal does not preclude doing gas down the road."
NRG made the announcement in a business update filed as a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Compliance with Mercury and Air Toxics Standards would be achieved through "coal sourcing and back end controls," the company said.