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Montana company to mothball coal-fired plant in 2015

Thu., Sept. 20, 2012, 8:22 a.m.

New emission standards cited

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — PPL Montana plans to mothball its 154-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Billings when new federal emission standards take effect in 2015.

PPL Montana vice president and CEO Pete Simonich said Wednesday the company cannot justify spending the $38 million needed to meet the new standards at the J.E. Corette plant. The wholesale price of electricity in the northwest has declined due to decreased demand and new wind projects subsidized by federal tax credits.

The Corette plant uses low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin. It began operations in 1968 and has 35 full-time employees.

Simonich says PPL will work with plant employees to ensure the transition over the next two-and-a-half years is as smooth as possible.

Mothballing the plant gives PPL Montana the option of resuming operations if conditions change.

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