Power Plant Closure
The power plant at Benning Service Center, which was built in 1906, was closed on June 1, 2012 as scheduled. The closure was announced by Pepco Energy Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc., which has owned and operated the power plant since 2000. The power plant is located on the westernmost portion of the Benning Service Center site, where it occupies approximately 25 percent of the facility's 77 acres. Preparations for closing the power plant have been underway since 2007. After the power plant's closure and the removal of its generating equipment and most associated external facilities and equipment, the former power plant building will occupy an estimated two acres or less.
As of June 1, operations at the Benning Power Plant have ceased as scheduled. The power plant decommissioning will proceed during the course of the next several months. A small crew of employees capable of operating the plant during an emergency will remain in place as a precautionary measure during the month of June. This precaution provides an additional level of continuity to ensure the reliable delivery of electric service while new upgrades to Pepco's electric transmission and distribution system are monitored to ensure functionality.
The power plant was built in 1906, and provided Pepco's first system-wide electricity supply to the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland suburbs. Over the years, the power plant has operated and subsequently retired several different generating units, reflecting advances in technology and operating on different types of fuel. Only two oil-fired steam turbine units now operate at the power plant. Installed in 1968 and 1972, together they provide 550 MW of electricity - enough to meet the needs of around 180,000 homes - during periods of peak electricity demand. Designed to operate a limited number of days each year, these units have operated an average of 10 to 15 days annually.