AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) announced today that its nuclear power plants ran at full capacity during the latest deep freeze that sent temperatures plunging to dangerously cold levels across the Midwest.
FES's Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear plants in Ohio powered approximately 1.7 million homes without disruption between January 29 and February 1 as electricity demand soared amid gusty winds and artic temperatures that dipped well below zero. The performance of the two nuclear plants, which provide 14% of Ohio's overall generation capacity, underscores the important service they provide to customers during these extreme weather trends.
"We continue to operate all of our plants at the highest levels of safety and reliability," said Paul Harden, senior vice president and chief operating officer of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), the operating subsidiary of the plants. "Our dedicated employees worked through the bone-chilling cold to ensure that all our nuclear plants remained online and safe."
FES is proud to provide 90% of Ohio's zero-emission generation and its Beaver Valley plant in Pennsylvania is one of nine nuclear energy providers that represent 94% of the state's zero-emission generation. FES's three plants generate 4,048 MW, which can supply up to 3.4 million homes. FES also plays an important role in maintaining the diversity and integrity of the electrical grid. While FENOC's capacity during the days of the extreme weather was at 100%, nearly 11,000 MW of cleared natural gas capacity was unavailable due to operational or supply related outages during this same period.
Nuclear plants are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, both cold and hot. A winterization program prepares the plants and ensures critical operating systems are protected from freezing temperatures. FENOC plants undergo yearlong planning, preparation and maintenance to ensure that they remain safe, reliable and resilient during the deep freeze, which stretched energy consumption to its limits.
FES announced last year that its nuclear power plants are scheduled to be prematurely deactivated in the next two to three years unless the Company secures legislative support and meaningful market reforms to keep them operational.
"Our nuclear plants contribute to the fuel diversity and fuel security of the regional grid and are able to withstand natural disasters and terrorist attacks. FES plants can also run for up to two years between refueling outages," said Mr. Harden. "We hope that market reforms are implemented that appropriately values our plants and considers the significant contributions they make to the communities they serve."
SOURCE FirstEnergy Solutions