Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it is canceling the coal-to-biomass conversion project at its R.E. Burger power plant in Belmont County, Ohio. The announcement comes two days after the Ohio Environmental Council filed a notice of appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the recent certification of the plant as a renewable energy generating facility based on its ability to co-fire biomass and coal.

The project has drawn fire from the renewable energy industry and environmental groups because of the special weight that would have been given to renewable energy credits (RECs) produced at the plant under certain circumstances. FirstEnergy said lower market prices for electricity caused it to cancel the Burger project. The utility now plans to permanently close the facility by December 31, 2010. Background on the Burger project is available here.