The Burgettstown-based Robinson Power, LLC was proposing a so-called “Beech Hollow” plant that would have produced 1,000 MW of electricity. However, on Oct. 4, Robinson Power with withdrew its permits before a request from environmental groups was heard asking the DEP to reject the permit application.
The Beech Hollow project had been opposed by environmental groups from the onset, who claimed that the plant would negatively affect air quality in the region. The Pittsburgh region is regularly cited as having some of the worst air quality in America. Pennsylvania is also a net exporter of electricity, meaning the state creates more electricity than it uses.
Natural-gas power plants emit less CO2 than coal-fired power plants, but natural gas facilities can be prone to emitting large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Over the last several months, the Clean Air Council had appealed plans by Robinson Power, and the company had altered plans multiple times for the plant, all of which were approved by the DEP.
The Clean Air Council is claiming victory with the proposed plant cancellation. “We are thrilled to have stopped the construction of a dirty power plant in Robinson Township, where residents are already overburdened by air pollution from a plethora of oil and gas facilities,” said Lisa Hallowell of Environmental Integrity Project, which represented the Clean Air Council, in a statement.
However, Robinson Power has not commented on its canceled plans.
Natural gas prices have been increasing coming out of the pandemic shutdowns. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas prices in Pennsylvania were $7.19 per thousand cubic feet, the highest the price has been in two years.
According to Reuters, natural gas providers are likely to keep increasing natural gas prices for some time as a measure to recoup shutdown losses.