The Chamois Power Plant officially burned its last bit of coal Tuesday, as it prepares to shut off the lights for the last time.
The close comes after a March decision to cease operations at the coal-fired plant due to anticipated costs to continue production. The final generator went off line at 2:49 a.m. Tuesday, with the last day of work for the plant employees set for Sept. 30.
Plant owner Central Electric Power Cooperative, based in Jefferson City, has contracted to sell the plant to Associated Electric Cooperative, the Springfield-based wholesale power supplier. AECI has been paying the plant expenses since 1962 in exchange for full use of the plant. An analysis of options for final decommissioning of the Chamois site will be conducted after the transfer of ownership anticipated to be Oct. 9.
Of the approximate 28 plant employees, some have accepted positions with AECI, while others have opted to accept a severance package commensurate with their years of service.
Operations at Chamois Power Plant first came under scrutiny earlier this year. Several economic factors caused the final decision to close the plant for good. Those factors included the impact of increasing costs from upcoming environmental regulations, higher fuel delivery costs and several required on-site improvements for coal shipment, slower member load growth and lower natural gas prices.
Chamois Unit 1 was built in 1953, and a second unit was added in 1960. The plant is the oldest and smallest of AECI's coal-fired generation resources. In recent years, the Chamois plant has provided a small percentage of the electricity AECI uses to supply 875,000 consumer-members in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Iowa, including all of those in Central Electric's service area.