Wednesday, March 28, 2018

UPDATED: FirstEnergy Files Deactivation Notice For 3 Nuclear Power Plants In Ohio, Pennsylvania, BANKRUPTCY

FirstEnergy Solutions, a competitive generation subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., Wednesday notified PJM Interconnection (PJM), the regional transmission organization, two nuclear power plants in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania owned by its subsidiary will be deactivated during the next three years.  
UPDATE: FirstEnergy Solutions, the competitive subsidiary of FirstEnergy, along with all FES subsidiaries and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, made a voluntary filing under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in order to facilitate an orderly financial restructuring just before midnight on Saturday.  Click Here for more.
Plant closures are subject to review by PJM for reliability impacts, if any.  In the interim, the plants will continue normal operations, as FES seeks legislative policy solutions as an alternative to deactivation or sale.
The plants scheduled for retirement are:
-- Beaver Valley Power Station (1,872 MW) in Shippingport, Pa., in 2021
-- Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station (908 MW) in Oak Harbor, Ohio, in 2020
-- Perry Nuclear Power Plant (1,268 MW) in Perry, Ohio, in 2021
The total capacity of the nuclear plants to be deactivated is 4,048 megawatts (MW).  In 2017, the nuclear units contributed approximately 65 percent of the electricity produced by the FES generating fleet.
[Note: The House-Senate PA Nuclear Energy Caucus Chairs issued a statement on the deactivation notices Thursday.]
"The decision to deactivate these facilities is very difficult and in no way a reflection on the dedicated, hard-working employees who operate the plants safely and reliably or on the local communities and union leaders who have advocated passionately on their behalf," said Don Moul, president of FES Generation Companies and chief nuclear officer. "Though the plants have taken aggressive measures to cut costs, the market challenges facing these units are beyond their control.
"We call on elected officials in Ohio and Pennsylvania to consider policy solutions that would recognize the importance of these facilities to the employees and local economies in which they operate, and the unique role they play in providing reliable, zero-emission electric power for consumers in both states. We stand ready to roll-up our sleeves and work with policy makers to find solutions that will make it feasible to continue to operate these plants in the future."
Collectively, the plants have contributed more than $540 million in taxes throughout their operation to support local communities.  The Company continues to work toward legislative solutions to keep these plants operating, but will also look for potential buyers as another alternative.  
About 2,300 plant employees are expected to be affected by the ultimate deactivations.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been verbally notified of the deactivations, and a required written notification will be made to the agency within 30 days.  
In addition, notifications were made to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and Nuclear Energy Institute, organizations that support the U.S. nuclear industry.
The two-year-plus lead time is needed to make the complex preparations for a potential plant deactivation, including preparing a detailed decommissioning plan and working with the NRC to amend plant licenses.
In November 2016, FES parent FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it would exit competitive, or non-regulated, generation due to weak power prices, insufficient results from recent capacity auctions, and weak demand forecasts.  
A strategic review of FES's two remaining coal plants and one natural gas plant, totaling 5,245 MW, will continue as part of that plan.
Related Stories:
FirstEnergy Seeks Emergency Federal Order To Avert Shutdown Of Nuclear, Coal Power Plants
House-Senate PA Nuclear Energy Caucus Chairs React To FirstEnergy Nuclear Plant Deactivation Notices

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