FirstEnergy proposes new turbines in Ohio

Akron's FirstEnergy Corp. has proposed adding 800 megawatts of peaking generation at its Eastlake Plant in Lake County. Four new combustion turbines are needed to assure there is sufficient electric power in the East Coast-Midwest region as FirstEnergy prepares to close nine of its old coal-fired power plants, the company said.

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin said the turbines, each capable of producing 200 megawatts, would be fueled with natural gas and oil and would produce peaking electricity, and could burn either fuel. A megawatt is enough power to fuel 600 to 1,000 houses.

It is anticipated the new turbines would be in service by spring 2015, if the project moves forward. The new turbines would be near the coal-fired power plant in Eastlake, but there would be no ties to the existing facility. FirstEnergy is closing polluting power plants in the wake of tighter federal clean-air rules on mercury, heavy metals and air toxics announced Dec. 21.