PPL Montana shutting down Corette coal-fired power plant in Billings


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BILLINGS, Montana — PPL Montana is less than three months from closing down the J.E. Corette coal-fired power plant, the worst air polluter in Billings.

The Billings Gazette reports the plant is scheduled to be placed into "long term reserve" on April 15. PPL spokesman David Hoffman says if the price of electricity increases, the company may consider installing the emissions controls needed to meet new environmental regulations.

There's a limited opportunity for resuming power generation because the plant's air permit expires in five years. If it isn't returned to production within that time frame, it would have to seek a new permit.

The plant employs 35 workers. Long-time employee Dave Ratliff says employees that are too young to retire will likely take jobs at the Colstrip power plant or at hydroelectric dams.

Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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