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FirstEnergy officials says changes won't affect customers in Tri-State area

March 08, 2012

FirstEnergy, which announced in February that it intends to close the R. Paul Smith Power Station in Williamsport by Sept. 1, said local customers won’t be affected by a recent decision to explore increasing turbine energy sources in Ohio.

Mark Durbin, a FirstEnergy spokesman, said the utility company’s recent filing for a feasibility study application to install 800 megawatts of new combustion turbine peaking generation at its existing plant in Eastlake, Ohio, won’t influence customers in the Tri-State area.

“It really doesn’t affect your neck of the woods,” Durbin said.
FirstEnergy announced Thursday that it had applied for the application.

The R. Paul Smith Power Station is one of six older coal-fired power plants in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio that FirstEnergy will close due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and other environmental regulations, the company said in January.

Durbin has said that the plant has 40 full-time employees.

FirstEnergy is the parent company of Potomac Edison, which serves just under 249,000 customers in Maryland — including 50,000 in Washington County — and 100,000 in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

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