Energy company to close coal plant in Joppa, Ill.

Energy company to close coal plant in Joppa, Ill.
Power plants in Baldwin and Joppa would close no later than the end of 2025.

JOPPA, Ill. (KFVS) - An energy company announced its plan to close four coal plants in Illinois, including one in Joppa.

Vistra announced that under the filing of the revised coal ash rule, known as the Coal Combustion Residuals rule, the power plants in Baldwin and Joppa would close no later than the end of 2025, according to Senator Dale Fowler.

Senator Fowler issued this statement on the closure:

“Vistra’s announcement of the forthcoming closure of the Joppa-based coal plant is incredibly disappointing. This decision to retire the power plant by 2025 will negatively impact more than 115 full-time employees, their families and the Joppa community as a whole.

"The high costs placed on the backs of our coal industry under federal regulations have led to this incredibly tough decision, and it’s more important than ever we recognize the importance of coal energy in our country.

I know this announcement has created uncertainty for many hardworking individuals in Southern Illinois. I remain dedicated to working closely with Vistra to seek out opportunities for those impacted by this decision to retire the coal-fired power plant. Moving forward, I will continue my efforts to support Illinois' coal industry and work to identify future economic opportunities for the Joppa community and surrounding area.”

The full list of coal plant closures in Illinois and Ohio includes:

By year-end 2022

  • Edwards Power Plant, Bartonville, IL (MISO) – 585 MW

By year-end 2025 or sooner should economic or other conditions dictate

  • Baldwin Power Plant, Baldwin, IL (MISO) – 1,185 MW
  • Joppa Power Plant, Joppa, IL (MISO) – 1,002 MW (plus 239 MW of gas-fueled combustion turbines)

By year-end 2027 or sooner should economic or other conditions dictate

  • Kincaid Power Plant, Kincaid, IL (PJM) – 1,108 MW
  • Miami Fort Power Plant, North Bend, OH (PJM) – 1,020 MW
  • Newton Power Plant, Newton, IL (MISO) – 615 MW
  • Zimmer Power Plant, Moscow, OH (PJM) – 1,300 MW

In addition to the closures, Vistra announced a plan to transition to clean power generation sources to reduce its carbon footprint.

Called Vistra Zero, the company will break ground on six new solar projects and one battery energy storage project. They include:

Expected online in 2021

  • Andrews Solar Facility, Andrews County – 100 MW
  • Brightside Solar Facility, Live Oak County – 50 MW
  • Emerald Grove Solar Facility, Crane County – 108 MW
  • Upton 2 Solar and Energy Storage Facility – Phase III, Upton County – 10 MW solar
    • Additional solar capacity to be added to the already operational facility, bringing its total solar capacity to 190 MW

Expected online in 2022

  • DeCordova Energy Storage Facility, Hood County – 260 MW/260 MWh
    • Co-located on site of Luminant’s natural gas-fueled DeCordova Power Plant
  • Forest Grove Solar Facility, Henderson County – 200 MW
  • Oak Hill Solar Facility, Rusk County – 200 MW

The Vistra Zero portfolio also includes the company’s existing nuclear, renewable, and energy storage facilities:

  • Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant (2,300 MW)
  • Upton 2 Solar (180 MW) and Energy Storage Facility (10 MW/42 MWh)
  • Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility (400 MW/1,600 MWh) – 300 MW Phase I expected online December 2020; 100 MW Phase II expected online by August 2021
  • Oakland Energy Storage Facility (36.25 MW/ 145 MWh) – expected online January 2022

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