FirstEnergy to close 3 aging power plants in W.Va.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Three aging coal-fired power plants in West Virginia owned by FirstEnergy Corp. will be shut down later this year.

FirstEnergy announced Wednesday that subsidiary Monongahela Power will retire the Albright, Willow Island and Rivesville power stations by Sept. 1. The plants employ a total 105 workers.

Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy attributed the shutdowns to new federal environmental regulations.

The regulations are designed to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired plants.

FirstEnergy says the three plants' total generating capacity is about 3 percent of the electricity produced by the company. Over the past three years, they generated less than 1 percent of the company's electricity and served mostly as peaking facilities.

Six coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland also will be retired.