LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Charah Solutions, a provider of environmental services and byproduct sales to the power generation industry headquartered in Louisville, has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Cheswick Generating Station, the Lefever Ash Landfill and the Monarch Wastewater Treatment Facility from GenOn and will begin environmental remediation and sustainable redevelopment of the Pennsylvania properties upon closing.
The asset purchase agreement with GenOn was signed in December 2021, and the full transfer will take place in early April 2022 after the Cheswick Generating Station ceases electrical generation operation. Charah Solutions has commenced the redevelopment and remediation planning efforts and will begin physical work after closing. GenOn will continue to maintain responsibility for the plant and operate the plant, the landfill and the wastewater treatment facility in the normal course of business through closing.
As part of this agreement, Charah Solutions, through three companies related to its subsidiary, Charah Environmental Redevelopment Group (CERG), will acquire the properties from GenOn Holdings, LLC, which consist of:
- The Cheswick Generating Station, a 565 MW coal-fired plant operated by GenOn, located in Springdale, Penn., outside of Pittsburgh and along the Allegheny River. The 56-acre primary generating station site, along with an adjacent 27-acre parcel, consists of an operating rail line, a coal yard, bottom ash emergency and recycle ponds, waste ponds and a coal pile runoff pond, coal delivery equipment, and an ash handling parcel. CERG will be responsible for the shutdown and decommissioning of the coal power plant, the remediation of the two ash ponds and performing all environmental remediation and redevelopment work at the site. The Cheswick Generating Station is expected to be deactivated on March 31.
- The Lefever Ash Landfill located three miles northwest of the Cheswick Generating Station in Cheswick, Penn. The 182-acre site, including the 50-acre landfill facility, is currently operating and provides disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) and residual waste from the Cheswick Generating Station under an active solid waste permit. CERG will be responsible for the closure design, remediation closure work and post closure monitoring of the landfill.
- The Monarch Wastewater Treatment Facility located on seven acres in the Borough and Township of Springdale in Allegheny County, Penn. CERG will be responsible for day-to-day management and operations and for compliance with all applicable environmental regulations.
CERG has retained Avison Young to provide real estate advisory, development and brokerage services to oversee the redevelopment of the property and future sales of the remediated properties. CERG plans to redevelop the properties in an environmentally conscious manner that will expand economic activity and benefit the surrounding communities through job creation, promotion of industry, and support of the tax base while enabling the site to provide the best potential use for the community moving forward, all while sustainably remediating the site for the betterment of the community. The existing power plant will be demolished, and potential redevelopment uses for the properties include renewable energy and battery storage options that utilize the existing transmission system, re-use of the switchyard, transportation and logistics that utilize the river shipping assets, and other potential industrial uses.
This acquisition of the Cheswick Generating Station, the Lefever Ash Landfill and the Monarch Wastewater Treatment Facility is Charah Solutions’ fifth major Environmental Risk Transfer (ERT) project and the second major project with GenOn. In July 2021, Charah Solutions announced the acquisition of GenOn’s Avon Lake Generating Station and adjacent property, with the full transfer expected to occur in the first half of 2022.
The company just recently announced the sale of 80% of the real property acreage at the former Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station and Reservoir with the sale of the additional 20% of the real property acreage to be announced in 2022. With approximately 241 existing coal-fired power plants in the U.S. expected to be decommissioned over the next 10 to 15 years, Charah Solutions is positioned to capitalize on its innovative ERT services model to partner with additional utilities.
“This is the end of an era for Cheswick, and the retirement of this facility reflects the changes occurring in our nation and around the world,” said David Freysinger, GenOn CEO. “We are delighted to reach agreement with Charah Solutions as the Cheswick Plant approaches the end of its useful life. This transaction will bring Charah Solutions’ expertise to bear in redeveloping the property for the benefit of the community.”
Charah Solutions is dedicated to preserving natural resources in an environmentally conscious manner through environmental remediation and redevelopment projects such as this. The company focuses its business on developing innovative solutions to complex environmental issues for the betterment of the planet, the communities in which it operates, its customers and its investors. Charah Solutions sustainability services reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease landfill disposal, remediate land for community and business use, conserve natural resources and protect waterways.
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