On March 31, 2018, FirstEnergy Solutions — the parent of First Energy Nuclear Operating Company — filed for bankruptcy protection. As part of its restructuring plan, the company noted that it intended to close three nuclear power plants.
According to published news reports, FirstEnergy Chief Executive Officer and President Charles E. Jones stated as follows: “FirstEnergy will remain focused on creating long-term value for its customers, employees and shareholders. Simply put, we will be better positioned to deliver on the tremendous opportunities for customer-focused growth.”
The company plans to retreat from its role as an energy generating company. In this regard, FirstEnergy Solutions intends to close the following plants:
- the Davis Besse nuclear plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio by 2020;
- the two-unit Beaver Valley Power Plant in Shipingport, Pennsylvania by 2021; and,
- the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio, in 2021.
The company said the closings were a milestone in its path towards redefining itself as a utility and not a power producer.
Pursuant to the Federal Power Act law, FirstEnergy Solutions has also requested that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) declare that an emergency exists its PJM market. The PJM Energy Market procures electricity to meet consumer’s demands both in real time and in the near term. It includes the sale or purchase of energy in PJM’s Real-Time Energy Market (five minutes) and Day-Ahead Market (one day forward).
If DOE Secretary Rick Perry agrees to the request, it would mean the PJM would have to compensate both nuclear and coal generators in the at-risk market in order to protect the stability of the grid.