GenOn Holdings Announces Retirement of Three Coal-Fired Power Plants Including Charles County Morgantown Site

June 12, 2021

Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program (2016)

GenOn Holdings, LLC (GenOn) announced on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, that it has initiated the process to permanently retire 2,421 MW of coal-fired electric generating capacity at three stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The three facilities and associated coal retirements are the 627MW Avon Lake Generating Station located in Avon Lake, OH; the 565MW Cheswick Generating Station located in Springdale, PA; and the 1,229MW Morgantown Generating Station Units 1 and 2 located in Newburg, MD.

The Avon Lake and Cheswick Stations are anticipated to retire by September 15, 2021; the retiring units at the Morgantown Generating Station are anticipated to retire as of June 1, 2022.

The decision to initiate the retirement of these coal units is driven by unfavorable economic conditions, higher costs including those associated with environmental compliance, an inability to compete with other generation types, and evolving market rules that promote subsidized resources.

Avon Lake Unit 9 came online in 1970. A small, oil-fired unit that came online in 1973 located at the Avon Lake site will also be retired. No power generation facilities will be operational at the Avon Lake site following these unit retirements.

The Cheswick Generating Station Unit 1 was commissioned in 1970. No power generation operations will continue at the Cheswick site following the unit retirement.

The Morgantown Generating Station Units 1-2 came online in 1970 and 1971. GenOn will continue to operate six electric generating units totaling 252MW at the Morgantown site following the retirement of Morgantown Units 1-2.

Deactivation of these units is subject to a 90-day reliability review period by PJM. Once the PJM review period is complete, GenOn will initiate a reduction in the workforce at each site and GenOn will provide benefits common in this situation to all affected employees.

GenOn CEO Dave Freysinger stated, “The decision to retire a power plant is always a difficult one for employees and the local communities. These are not decisions taken lightly. GenOn will provide transition assistance, including advance notice, severance payments and access to health care, in accordance with our contracts and policies to all affected workers.”

GenOn is a competitive independent power producer that, following the retirement of these units, will own approximately 7,285 MW of electric generation facilities located in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and California.

Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program (2016)