Tough U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules covering emissions from coal fired power plants have prompted CPS Energy to close it's oldest power generating station fifteen years ahead of schedule, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  CPS Energy has notified the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which runs the state's power grid, that the Deely One and Two power stations on Calaveras Lake will be closed by the end of 2018.


  The Deely Plant, with it's twin generating stations, is the oldest facility in CPS Energy's arsenal of power generating plants.  But it has been plagued with problems recently, most notably an explosion in a coal lifting machine which put the plant out of production for several weeks.


  CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby says it would cost $550 million to install all of the needed scrubbers to bring the plant into compliance with EPA point source pollution rules.


  The Deely Plant, which came on line in 1977, was not supposed to be retired until 2033.


  But environmental groups, which have long called the plant 'Dirty Deely' due to its coal emissions, won't be shedding any tears.


  "The retirement of the Deely coal plants will mean cleaner air to breathe and fewer people with asthma," said Karen Haddon, a veteran environmentalist.


  CPS Energy says it is working to find generating capacity to replace the 871 megawatts of energy that Deely has been producing to keep the lights on in San Antonio since 1977.


  The utility recently purchased the 800 megawatt Rio Nogales natural gas fired power station, and says due to that, as well as greater efficiency in use of electricity, a replacement for the power being lost with the closure of Deely will not be necessary until 2020 at the earliest.