MAY 2009

Coal plant converted to biomass
Project will result in one of the largest biomass facilities

FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it plans to repower units 4 and 5 at its R.E. Burger Plant in Shadyside, Ohio, to generate electricity principally with biomass. When the retrofit is complete, the Burger Plant is expected to be one of the largest biomass facilities in the United States. The announcement was made by FirstEnergy president and chief executive officer Anthony J. Alexander and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland at the plant.

The company was facing a March 31, 2009, deadline to determine the future of the plant under the terms of a Consent Decree related to the company’s 2005 New Source Review settlement.

The company expects the project to feature a closed-loop system, meaning it would use biomass derived from an energy crop grown specifically for use as a fuel source. This energy crop would act as a carbon sink, removing as much carbon dioxide from the environment when it is growing as it releases when it is burned. In addition, burning principally with biomass at the plant would produce lower emissions overall than if it was retrofitted with a scrubber.

The capital cost for retrofitting the Burger Plant to burn biomass is estimated to be approximately $200 million. Once the project is completed, units 4 and 5 of the Burger Plant could be capable of producing up to 312 megawatts (MW) of electricity - its current capacity. This is enough electricity to power approximately 190,000 homes, making it one of the largest biomass facilities in the United States based on generating capacity.