FirstEnergy Corp has notified its shareholders that it has abandoned its aim of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and will not now close its two coal-fired plants – Fort Martin and Harrison – until 2035 and 2040 respectively.

FirstEnergy has abandoned its 2030 target because its coal plants can’t be replaced by then. Utilities across the US have announced a slew of carbon-reduction goals in recent years in response to regulatory pressure to clean up power-generation fleets and meet green investor goals. Most utilities, however, are failing to make significant progress toward long-term carbon-neutrality targets, the Sierra Club found in an October report.

FirstEnergy’ has cited challenges to retiring these plants, including future resource adequacy concerns, changing market conditions and energy policy in West Virginia, one of the largest coal-producing states. Nonetheless it is maintaining its goal of achieving net carbon neutrality by 2050.

In filings with West Virginia regulators, the utility is forecasting retirement dates of 2035 and 2040 for Fort Martin and Harrison respectively.

Fort Martin power station is located in Maidsville, West Virginia, and has two coal-fired units produce 1098 MW. Unit 1 went online in 1967 and generates 552 MW, Unit 2 in 1968 and generates 546 MW.

Harrison power station is a 1984 MW coal fired plant fired plant located in Hayward West Virginia. Its three 650 MW units were brought into service in 1972, 1973, and 1974 respectively.

Image: Harrison coal-fired plant in West Virginia (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)