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Asset manager to shut down NC, Va. coal plants

The asset manager that owns the 190-MW Spruance Genco coal plant in Virginia and 116-MW Edgecombe Genco facility in North Carolina plans to shut down the units by the end of 2020.

Spruance Genco and Edgecombe Genco appear on the PJM Interconnection's most recent list of future deactivations. The owner of the plants on Jan. 31 requested a June 1 deactivation date for all six units, but filed updated deactivation notices in April.

PJM performed a reliability analysis on proposed deactivation and identified "no impacts" from the planned shut downs.

Following this analysis, the plant owner has submitted an updated notice with an Oct. 31, 2020, deactivation date for the plant in Edgecombe County, N.C. The Spruance plant in Richmond County, Va., now has a Jan. 12, 2019, deactivation date.

The plants were bought by affiliates of Ares Management LP in 2014, according to SNL Energy data.

Ares Management LP subsidiary Ares Holdings LP acquired indirect control of the assets as part of its November 2014 buyout of energy infrastructure asset manager EIF Management LLC, now Ares EIF Management LLC.

PJM lists the current owner of Edgecombe and Spruance as Ares affiliate Newark Energy Center LLC.

The first two units of the four-unit Spruance Genco plant came online in May 1992. The plant receives Central Appalachia coal from Perry County Coal Corp. and Raven Crest Contracting LLC, SNL Energy data shows. The facility's current power purchase agreement with Dominion Resources Inc. subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power, known legally as Virginia Electric and Power Co., expires in July. According to capacity factor data, the plant has been little-used since 2011.

Both Edgecombe Genco units came online in October 1990. Fuel contract details are unavailable. It too has not been used often since 2011, according to capacity factor data.

Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans told the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram that the news of the plant's closure is bittersweet. "The down side is that there is the potential for the loss of jobs and tax base," he told the newspaper. "We certainly expect that any loss from this will be overshadowed by the tremendous economic growth already on our way with the new CSX intermodal site and other opportunities in the pipeline."

SNL Energy is an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.