King George Coal-Fired Power Plant To Close In 2021: Report
The Birchwood Power Plant, a coal-burning power plant in King George County, will be shutting down in 2021, according to a report.
KING GEORGE COUNTY, VA — The Birchwood Power Plant, a coal-burning power plant in King George County, will be shutting down in February 2021 due to its inability to compete with lower-cost electricity produced by natural gas and renewable energy, according to the Free Lance-Star. When the plant closes next year, its 40 employees will get a severance package and help moving into other jobs, Birchwood said in a statement provided to the newspaper.
With a capacity of 252 megawatts, the size of the Birchwood power plant is relatively small compared to many of the coal plants built in the 1960s and 1970s. Built in 1996, the plant also is relatively new compared to the huge number of older coal-fired power plants that have shut down or announced plans to close over the past 10 years.
The plant has modern pollution-control technologies such as selective catalytic reduction and sulphur dioxide scrubbers that limit its emission of harmful pollutants. It burns less polluting low-sulfur coal. But the modern pollution controls on the plant weren’t enough to overcome the relatively high cost of running a coal plant in 2020.