Pilsen power plant officially shuts down
09/05/2012 1:41 PM
The city of Chicago’s last two coal-fired power plants shut down last week, clearing the way for the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village to move forward with cleaner air.
Midwest Generation, owner of the Fisk and Crawford stations, shut down the two plants last week, true to their promise earlier this year.
Doug McFarlan, a spokesman for the company, said Pilsen’s Fisk fired its last load of coal last Thursday night, Aug. 30. The men and women who work at the plants are still coming to work though, dismantling their former workplace bit by bit, unhooking the plant from ComEd’s electrical grid and cleaning out the buildings.
The decommissioning process could take as long as three months, McFarlan said.
In the meantime, Midwest Generation is working on finding a serious buyer for the 44-acre site who’ll take it over when the plant is fully unplugged. At a community meeting in June, a panel of activists, officials and politicians discussed hopes for the site’s future, including a possible park along the plant’s Chicago River frontage and industrial uses to recreate jobs being lost.
McFarlan said at this point they’ve heard lots of verbal proposals from people interested in Fisk and Crawford, and they’re hoping to get potential suitors to firm up the offers by the end of the year.
“We’ll get out there and solicit firm proposals and conversations,” McFarlan said. “We may have a better idea of the viability by the end of the year.”