PSEG is shutting down its last two coal power plants: the Hudson Generation Station in Jersey City and the 57-year-old Mercer Generation Station in Hamilton.

“The sustained low prices of natural gas have put economic pressure on these plants for some time. In that context, we could not justify the significant investment required to upgrade these plants to meet the new reliability standards,” CEO Bill Levis said.

In a prepared statement he said that the plants had depended on payments from PJM Interconnection — the regional power market for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland — to be profitable. The power transmission organization had been paying the plants to stay operational in case they were needed, but they were rarely used.

“The plants have been infrequently called on to run and neither plant cleared the last two PJM capacity auctions. The plants’ capacity payments have been critical to their profitability and PSEG’s ability to continue to invest in modernizing them,” he said.

The company said it will place as many of the 200 affected employees as possible at other PSEG locations.

The Hamilton plant is located on 130 acres on Lamberton Road amid the Hamilton-Trenton-Bordentown Marsh. The power company did not elaborate on future plans for the site, which will close on June 1, 2017. Possibilities include upgrading to a gas power plant or selling it for redevelopment.

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