Alexandria’s GenOn plant shuts down


View Photo Gallery: An Alexandria generating station, long criticized as a source of pollution, is turning off the lights — allowing cleanup of its waterfront site to begin.

It was a long struggle, both for environmentalists and Alexandria’s city leaders, but on Monday, the coal-fired GenOn electric plant on the banks of the Potomac River closed after 63 years. A variety of politicians gathered Monday to mark the historic event, and The Post’s Patricia Sullivan was there. You can read her report here.

But Sullivan also did a long look back at the plant which its owners said was shut down as much because of economics and changing means of energy supply as it was the objections to coal and the pollution it produced. GenOn had an 88-year lease on the site and didn’t have to go anywhere, Sullivan reports. All but six of the 120 GenOn employees have found new jobs or retired.

“This is really a time for celebration,” Alexandria council member Redella “Del” Pepper (D) told Sullivan. “There’s just no two ways to look at it. This was the region’s biggest polluter...It’s really an eyesore, and it’s not appropriate for our historic waterfront.”

Sullivan’s story wrapping up the plant saga is here.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.

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