FirstEnergy Corp. said Thursday that new environmental regulations led to a decision to shut down six older, coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The plants, which are in Cleveland, Ashtabula, Oregon and Eastlake in Ohio, Adrian, Pa. and Williamsport, Md., will be retired by Sept. 1.
Two other factors have made it easier for utilities to shut old coal plants in recent years. Power demand has been weakening in recent years because of the slow economy and energy efficiency programs. And natural gas prices, which have fallen to decade-low levels in recent weeks, have allowed utilities to switch from coal to natural gas without impacting customer bills. Meanwhile, demand from China and elsewhere has driven up the price of coal.