Four of NRG Energy’s power plants no longer are powered by coal, the company announced Monday. The Joliet Generating Station in Joliet Ill.; the Shawville Generating Station in Shawville Pa.; the New Castle Generating Station in New Castle, Pa., and one unit of the Big Cajun II Generating Station in New Roads, La. have been modified to generate electricity from gas instead of coal. “The successful introduction of natural gas replacing coal as the primary fuel allows these units to continue meeting customer needs while complying with current environmental standards and supporting NRG’s wider decarbonization efforts,” an NRG release says.
The newly modified units will operate cleaner, cutting their combined carbon footprint by more than 80 percent, according to the release. “These modifications allow us to keep the lights on for millions of customers, helping keep power reliable, affordable and cleaner, while we continue towards a sustainable energy future,” NRG CEO Mauricio Gutierrez said in the release.
Fourteen plants in NRG’s fleet still burn primarily coal, as do the other two units of the Big Cajun II station. With the completion of the modifications on these four plants, the company’s natural gas fleet now consists of more than 40 plants.