FirstEnergy to close its nuclear power plants

CLEVELAND -  FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corporation, is closing its nuclear power plants.

Two of the plants are in Ohio and one is in Pennsylvania. The Ohio plants are the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor and the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry. The Pennsylvania plant is the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport.

The company notified the regional grid manager PJM Interconnection about the closures late Wednesday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission was verbally notified as well.

The plants will be deactivated within the next two years. Until then, FirstEnergy says they will continue normal operations.

A release notes that FirstEnergy Solutions will also be seeking "legislative policy solutions as an alternative to deactivation or sale."

Don Moul, president of FES Generation Companies and chief nuclear officer also added, "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."

About 2,300 plant employees will be affected if the plants are deactivated.

Despite the announcement, Lake County Commissioner Jerry Cirino said this is not the time for residents to panic.

“The closure of the plant will have a tremendous impact to Perry and the surrounding communities. The reason I am suggesting this isn’t the end game though is because I think we are moving into the next phase of trying to find a solution to keep Perry operating longer than the three years that was notified today,” said Cirino.

Cirino said he expects FirstEnergy to file for bankruptcy protection in the next few days.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for FirstEnergy Corporation said the power plants can’t compete against the low prices of natural gas and are no longer profitable.

FirstEnergy announced in November 2016 that it would be leaving the competitive generation business and was still deciding what to do with their nuclear plants.

Continuing coverage here.