End of an era: 3 coal-fired plants shut down Sunday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — It’s an unceremonious end for three coal-fired power plants that have energized West Virginia’s hills for decades.

Sunday will mark the official shutdown of the Kanawha River Power Station at Glasgow, Kammer Power Station at Moundsville, and Phillip Sporn Power Station in New Haven.

The Phillip Sporn Power Station in New Haven is one of three West Virginia coal-fired plants closing Sunday.

“They’ve been operating for decades,” said Appalachian Power spokesperson Jeri Matheney. “They are very reliable plants, so it’s sad for us who have been working with the people at these plants for so many years.”

Workers at the three facilities have retired or been reassigned to other jobs in the company. Appalachian Power said the older facilities couldn’t meet new emission standards from the Environmental Protection Agency.

What happens to the equipment and buildings at the plants remains unclear.

“We haven’t made a decision on any of the plants yet. We’ll be looking at each plan individually to see what’s best,” Matheney said. “They’re full of a lot of valuable metal and valuable equipment we may not be using, but somebody may want.”

The Kammer plant has been idled for several months. The Kanawha River and Phillip Sporn plants have been winding down in recent weeks as opposed to a hard-stop.

“Even after the plants are no longer operating, we’ll still have a few people there,” Matheney said. “There’s a lot of work you need to do to close a plant, handling the shutdown activities. Beyond that, we’ll have people there for security.”

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