Talen Energy to be acquired

David Weissman

Talen Energy, the owner of York Haven's Brunner Island, has entered into a $1.8 billion acquisition agreement with a private investment firm, according to multiple reports.

The Brunner Island coal-burning power plant in York Haven was the third-largest source of a smog-causing pollutant in Pennsylvania in 2011, according to a Sierra Club report released this year.  (John A. Pavoncello -

The Allentown-based company spun off from PPL Corp. a little more than a year ago and was tabbed with a market value of $5.2 billion based on the deal with New York City-based Riverstone Holdings LLC, which already controls 35 percent of the company's stock, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Talen spokesman Todd Martin emphasized that this deal will have no impact on operations in the near future, and company officials spent Friday speaking with employees about the importance of continuing to operate the plants safely.

"This announcement is a step in a significant and long process," Martin said, pointing to the need for approval from regulators and shareholders before a transaction occurs.

Martin added that the $1.8 billion price tag is a recognition of the value of Talen's current assets.

Talen is in the process of converting Brunner Island from a coal-fire plant into a co-fire plant, allowing it to burn coal or natural gas.