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Ohio Coal-Fired Power Plant Announces Job Cuts in Move Toward Closure


January 22, 2023 - The W.H. Sammis coal-fired power plant, based in Stratton, Ohio, USA seems on track to close this year according to the plant’s owner Energy Harbor.

Energy Harbor notified state labor officials that layoffs are slated to take place in March and April, and that the plant would close in July. Around 140 jobs are affected.

Last May, Energy Harbor said it planned to deactivate or sell the remaining units of the power plant along the Ohio River five years earlier than previously expected.

The Akron-based company said the move was part of its plan to become a carbon-free energy generator by the end of 2023. Energy Harbor also said it would sell or close its other coal plant, Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia, by the same deadline.

Energy Harbor filed deactivation notices last spring with regional transmission organisation PJM Interconnection for the following generating units:

  • W.H. Sammis Diesel Units SAA, B1-B4, Stratton, Ohio (12.5 MW, diesel oil)
  • W.H. Sammis Units 5-7, Stratton, Ohio (1,694 MW, coal)
  • Pleasants Power Station Units 1 and 2, Willow Island, West Virginia (1,368 MW, coal)

Energy Harbor has said that the baseload power generated by its nuclear units is “critical infrastructure” required for the clean energy transition.

Among the job losses at Sammis are 22 maintenance mechanics, 18 control room operators, and 19 yard operators.

W.H. Sammis – A Retrofit Pioneer

In 2005, the plant (seven coal-fired units totaling 2,220 MW) underwent a significant environmental retrofit project. This renovation included new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems and wet flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) equipment. The project was undertaken by Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy to significantly reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.

Ultimately, the five-year, $1.8 billion retrofit project was recognised as the construction project of the year at the Platts Global Energy Awards held December 2, 2010, in New York City.

Patsy Wurster, Platts Director of Strategic Media and head of the Global Energy Awards program, commented in a statement in 2010: “…this mega project stood out as a world class engineering, construction and management accomplishment by some of the most experienced companies in the construction business.”