By Scott DiSavino
Oct 14 (Reuters) - U.S. federal energy regulators approved power company Ameren Corp's plan to sell five coal-fired power plants in Illinois to power generator Dynegy Inc, the companies said on Monday.
Ameren, of St. Louis, is selling its merchant power plants to focus on its regulated utilities in Missouri and Illinois.
Dynegy, of Houston, said it still needs approval from the Illinois Pollution Control Board on its Illinois Multi Pollutant Standard variance request before it can close the deal.
The Illinois board is expected to make a decision on or before Nov. 21, Dynegy said.
Ameren in March agreed to sell the 410-megawatt Duck Creek, 650-MW E D Edwards, 895-MW Coffeen, 1,197-MW Newton and 1,002-MW Joppa coal plants to Dynegy.
In addition, Ameren said the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also approved Ameren's transfer of three natural gas-fired power plants in Illinois from one Ameren unit to another before the facilities are sold to Rockland Capital, an investment firm.
Ameren Energy Generating will transfer the 460-MW Elgin, 478-MW Grand Tower and 228-MW Gibson City gas plants to AmerenEnergy Medina Valley Cogen. Medina Valley meanwhile has agreed to sell the plants to an affiliate of Rockland Capital.
Ameren said it expects to complete both transactions by the end of the year.