Peoria Public Radio Staff
Thu March 14, 2013
Dynergy buys five Ameren coal plants, including Bartonville Edwards
Houston-based power producer Dynegy is buying five Illinois coal power plants from Ameren. That includes the Edwards coal plant in Bartonville. Dynegy isn’t paying cash for the plants and the related Ameren business that provides electricity to homes and businesses. Instead Dynegy is assuming $825 million in Ameren's debt. Dynegy says buying the Ameren plants will give it more than 8,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the state and nearly 14,000 megawatts in the U.S.Area environmentalist groups are calling for the eventual closure of the Edwards plant. They say the coal facility operates with outdated pollution controls and in some cases no controls at all and that contributes to significant health problems. Ameren says the sale will allow it to focus exclusively on its rate-regulated electric, natural gas and power transmission operations. The power company says the deal also strengthens its balance sheet, making its business less risky. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of the year.