June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc said Monday it will convert two coal-fired plants in the eastern United States to gas-fired units.
NRG said in an email it had planned to deactivate the three coal units at the 330-megawatt (MW) New Castle plant in Pennsylvania and two coal units at the 732 MW Avon Lake in Ohio in April 2015.
But since its merger with GenOn Energy last December, NRG said it is looking at all of its coal plants to see if they can be refueled or repowered economically with cleaner gas in a way that meets increasingly stringent environmental requirements.
Depending on the time it takes for permitting and construction, NRG said it expects to complete the New Castle and Avon Lake projects sometime around May 2016, pending state and local approvals.
For a list of all U.S. coal plants scheduled to shut over the next several years, see
New Castle is located near New Castle, Pennsylvania, about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The three coal units entered service between 1952 and 1964.
Avon Lake is located in Avon Lake, Ohio about 20 miles west of Cleveland. The two coal units entered service in 1949 and 1970.