Vermilion power station officially retired

Vermilion power station officially retired

NEWTOWN — The Vermilion power station in the Newtown area has been officially retired from service, according to Dynegy officials.

The 176-megawatt coal-fired power station was "mothballed" this past spring and most of its workers let go, and even then, had not regularly been generating power for some time, according to Dynegy officials.

But from the perspective of the electricity market, the plant was not officially closed until two weeks ago when Dynegy received permission from the Midwest Independent System Operator to retire the plant, according to Dynegy officials, who announced the plant's official retirement this week.

Officials with MISO, an independent, nonprofit organization that monitors and controls the electrical transmission system in the upper Midwest and parts of Canada, had to review Dynegy's request to retire the facility that's generated electricity since 1955.

According to its website, "MISO ensures reliable operation of and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 12 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba."

Katy Sullivan, director of public relations and internal communications with Houston-based Dynegy, said MISO conducted studies to ensure that retiring the plant wouldn't adversely affect the system. Sullivan said receiving this permission from MISO allows Dynegy to remove the facility permanently from service, whereas "mothballing" was a temporary removal from service.

Although Sullivan did not know specific numbers, she said there are still some personnel at the Newtown-area facility, and after this latest development, Dynegy will continue to maintain security personnel at the site.

Dynegy is evaluating options for eventual "disposition" of the facility, but has no definite plans, according to company officials.

Sullivan said "disposition" could include selling the site or even dismantling the facility.

"Those are options being considered," said Sullivan, who added that there are various options under review.