In its latest survey, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity showed that 204 coal-fired power units spread across 25 states are scheduled to be shut down due, at least in part, to regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

PPL Montana vice president and COO Pete Simonich said the firm’s analysis shows that it needs to invest $38m in the Corette plant to meet the emission reductions required by EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

"We simply cannot justify that level of spending in the current wholesale power market in the Northwest," Simonich added.

The company is planning to operate the generating facility until requirements of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard take effect in April 2015.

The power plant, which began operation in 1968, uses low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin.