Indian River to shut down additional coal unit

    DNREC Secretary signs agreement with NRG that will reduce the amount of electricity produced by coal.

    The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and NRG, Energy Inc. have finalized an agreement that will permanently shut down a third coal-fired electrical generating unit in 2013 at the Indian River Power Plant.

    The facility has traditionally included four coal-fired units. Two others are scheduled to be shut down by 2011. That leaves only the facility’s newest and lowest-emitting unit to remain in operation.

    DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara says the fly ash produced from coal combustion at Indian River will be reduced dramatically and greenhouse gas emissions will be cut my almost 50 percent.

    “This agreement will protect public health and improve air quality by significantly reducing air pollution and virtually eliminating the use of water and impacts on our fisheries from the Indian River power Plant,” he said.

    The agreement, which also includes a commitment to create more clean energy jobs, is being filed in superior court for final approval.

    “This agreement will be a significant step forward for environmental quality and to restore the health of the Inland Bays,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “The agreement also includes a strong economic development component that provides critical workforce training for jobs in a clean energy economy.”

    As part of the agreement, NRG has committed to focus its negotiations for offshore wind turbines for the Bluewater Wind project on companies that present a significant economic development opportunity for Delaware.

    NRG will also partner with Delaware colleges to provide training opportunities for clean energy jobs.

    NRG’s plan for an offshore wind park will require 500 construction jobs.

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