PJM reviews any grid impacts from PSEG’s retirement of three coal units

PJM Interconnection said in a list of pending power plant deactivation requests updated to Oct. 11 that it got Oct. 5 requests for the deactivations of PSEG Power’s Hudson and Mercer coal units.

Those requests were:

“-Hudson Unit 2, 617.9 MW, PSEG Zone, 47 years old, deactivation as of June 1, 2017, reliability analysis underway.

“-Mercer Unit 1, 321 MW, PSEG Zone, 55 years old, deactivation as of June 1, 2017, reliability analysis underway.

“-Mercer Unit 2, 320.3 MW, PSEG Zone, 55 years old, deactivation as of June 1, 2017, reliability analysis underway.

Public Service Enterprise Group had announced Oct. 5 that its coal-fired Hudson Generation Station in Jersey City, N.J., and its coal-fired Mercer Generation Station in Hamilton Township, N.J., will be retired on June 1, 2017.

“The sustained low prices of natural gas have put economic pressure on these plants for some time. In that context, we could not justify the significant investment required to upgrade these plants to meet the new reliability standards,” said Bill Levis, president and chief operating officer-PSEG Power. “The plants have been infrequently called on to run and neither plant cleared the last two PJM capacity auctions. The plants’ capacity payments have been critical to their profitability and PSEG’s ability to continue to invest in modernizing them.”

Notable is that on that same PJM list from Oct. 11 is PSEG Power’s longstanding deactivation requests for the gas-fired Sewaren Units 1-4 in New Jersey, with the current deactivation target date for these units being June 1, 2018. These units are to be replaced by the in-construction, gas-fired Sewaren Unit 7, which is 540 MW in size and estimated to be in-service in June 2018.

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Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy's Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication's editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University.

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