Coal takes another hit with the closure of the WH Sammis plant

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A coal-fired power plant in eastern Ohio that was indirectly saved by the bill to bail out the state’s two nuclear power plants will shut down in 2028.

Energy Harbor, a former subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy, sent a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency this month noting its intention to shut down the three remaining units in the ‘WH Sammis plant near Stratton, eastern Ohio, along the Ohio River.

The letter was obtained by the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club and provided to The Dispatch. The shutdown was first reported by Cleveland.com.

The other four units at the plant were previously out of service.

In 2018, FirstEnergy Solutions, the name of the company at the time, announced that it would close the plant in 2022, but rolled back the decision a year later, just as state lawmakers passed Bill 6, legislation that bailed out the two nuclear power plants by adding charges to the monthly electricity bill that consumers pay.

The move came the same week state lawmakers approved the bailout of FirstEnergy’s two nuclear power plants in Ohio.

The legislation did not provide aid directly to the plant, but Energy Harbor said at the time that the bailout would improve its finances enough that it could keep the Sammis plant open.

The legislator subsequently repealed the fees.

Energy Harbor did not respond to a request for comment this week.

The Sammis plant is the last coal-fired power plant in Energy Harbor in Ohio, and the decision to close the plant reflects another abandonment of coal use in Ohio. Over the past few months and years, several companies have announced plans to shut down their remaining coal-fired power plants in the state.

With a closing date set for Sammis, there are only three major coal-fired power plants left in the state – Cardinal in Jefferson County, JAmes M. Gavin in County Gallia and County Gallia in Kyger Creek – which have yet to announce their intention to close completely.

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@BizMarkWilliams


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