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Casualty of Coal: One of Two Major Coal-Fired Electric Plants to Close

SHAMOKIN DAN — The plant in Shamokin Dam once produced enough electricity to power a city three times the size of Scranton.

It is 65 years old, but few here thought the facility known as the Sunbury
Steam Plant would be forced into retirement.

“It’s sad to see it close down,” said Robert Hoffman of Sunbury.  “The plant`s been there since I can remember.  As a matter of fact when i was in high school we toured that plant.”

“Since they put stack reclaimers on it, its been a fairly clean plant,” added Ed Quiggle of Shamokin Dam

Sunbury Generation announced plans to shout down the coal-fired plant by June.

About 60 workers will be out of a job.

And the Sunbury Steam Plant will be just the latest of more than a dozen coal-powered plants in Pennsylvania to close in the past five years.

Plant officials essentially said coal is dead back in 2011, when they announced it would be converted from a coal to natural gas.  But the conversion fell through, when the financing fell through.

According to a utility industry source, unpredictable natural gas prices. And falling projections for future electricity use made banks concerned about loaning money for the proposed project.

The Sunbury Steam Plant`s General Manager told Newswatch 16 tighter emissions rules for coal plants set to take effect next year leaves this facility unprofitable.

The closing leaves PPL’s Montour steam electric station in Washingtonville as the only remaining large coal-fired plant in our area.

9 comments

  • Georgia Halloran

    EPA is God in our government. Why?? It is not in the Constitution… Obama has fulfilled his proomise of killing coal Keep on voting in those Democrats folks… Dolts

  • joel

    Have they? My gas bill at home has gone down. Extraction of natural gas isn’t the best but its way better than coal. Coal should be dead. Its about time. All of these old coal boilers can easily be converted to gas.

    • Jimmy

      “All of these coal boilers can easily be converted to gas.”
      Yes, clearly. That’s why this plant is closing and not being converted to gas.

  • Don't Eat The Yellow Snow

    I see WNEP will not approve moderated comments that they don’t politically agree with. If you do a search on YouTube, for Obama bankrupt coal, you will find a speech from 2008, in which he said that his policies would make energy prices “necessarily skyrocket”. Thanks for hiding the truth WNEP. That YouTube link really would have hurt everyone, now wouldn’t it?

    • joelcol25

      And you’ve seen the massive smog for China burning that coal correct? Coal is dead and we have to face it. I am a boiler operator and the boilers in my plant where converted to natural gas in 1974.

      • Dr. RothEisenSteinBerg

        The thing that many fail to remember, is the fact that Obama is the one who drove the last nail into coal’s coffin. He told us in January of 2008, before being elected, that he would be making coal one of his number one enemies. Since then, coal mines, and plants, have been shutting down all over the country. We have plenty of clean coal left, to keep energy prices down, until putting new technology in place. Obama’s policies have caused our energy prices to skyrocket, just like he said they would.

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