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Industry News

FirstEnergy Solutions Notifies PJM of Plans to Close Nearly 4,050 MW of Nuclear Generating Facilities

LCG, March 29, 2018--FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), a competitive generation subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., yesterday notified PJM Interconnection (PJM), the regional transmission organization (RTO), two nuclear power plants in Ohio and another in Pennsylvania owned by its subsidiary will be deactivated over the next few years. When the closures are combined, the reduction will total 4,048 MW of carbon-free, electric generating capacity.

The plants scheduled for retirement are: Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station (908 MW) in Oak Harbor, Ohio, in 2020; Beaver Valley Power Station (1,872 MW) in Shippingport, Pennsylvania in 2021; and Perry Nuclear Power Plant (1,268 MW) in Perry, Ohio, in 2021. In 2017, the nuclear units contributed approximately 65 percent of the electricity produced by the FES generating fleet.

The closing of each plant is 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 president of FES Generation Companies and chief nuclear officer stated, "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."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has also been verbally notified of the deactivations, and a required written notification will be made to the agency within 30 days. FES has also notified the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) and Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), 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.

FirstEnergy Corp. announced in November 2016 that it would exit competitive (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.
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