AKRON, Ohio, July 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) announced today that its FirstEnergy Solutions subsidiary will make operational changes to coal-fired units at two of its Ohio plants in response to challenging market conditions.
The company plans to sell or deactivate the 136-megawatt (MW) Bay Shore Unit 1 in Oregon, Ohio, by October 2020. In addition, Units 1-4 of the company's seven-unit W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton, Ohio – collectively representing 720 MW of capacity – will be retired in May 2020. Units 5-7 will continue to provide 1,490 MW of reliable baseload generation.
In 2015, Bay Shore Unit 1 and Sammis Units 1-4 contributed about four percent of the electricity produced by the company's generating plants. FirstEnergy does not intend to offer these units into the PJM capacity auction for the 2020-2021 timeframe.
"We have taken a number of steps in recent years to reduce operating costs of our generation fleet," said FirstEnergy Generation President Jim Lash. "However, continued challenging market conditions have made it increasingly difficult for smaller units like Bay Shore and Sammis Units 1-4 to be competitive. It's no longer economically viable to operate these facilities."
No job reductions are expected at either plant. FirstEnergy will work with any potential buyer to discuss continued employment for the 78 employees at Bay Shore, or if the plant is deactivated, provide employees with job opportunities at other FirstEnergy facilities. There are 368 employees at Sammis.
Plant deactivations are subject to review for reliability impacts, if any, by PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization that controls the area where they are located.
About Bay Shore
FirstEnergy and British Petroleum collaborated on a project to install a fluidized-bed combustion boiler at Bay Shore Unit 1, the largest of its kind in the world when it came online in 2000. The boiler is fueled by petroleum coke, a byproduct of the refining process, and Bay Shore provides steam to the refinery for its operations. Bay Shore will be deactivated when this agreement with the refinery ends if a buyer for Unit 1 is not identified.
Bay Shore Units 2-4 were deactivated in 2012 based on the impact of environmental rules.
W.H. Sammis is FirstEnergy's largest coal-fired power plant in Ohio. The remaining units include Unit 5, which came online in 1967 and generates 300 MW, and Units 6 and 7, which came online in 1969 and 1971 respectively and generate 600 MW each. In 2010, FirstEnergy completed a $1.8 billion emissions control project at Sammis to help improve air quality and comply with current environmental regulations.
Sammis Units 1-4, each with 180 MW capacity, came online between 1959-1962.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, while its generation subsidiaries control nearly 17,000 megawatts of capacity from a diversified mix of scrubbed coal, non-emitting nuclear, natural gas, hydro and other renewables. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.
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the continued ability of our regulated utilities to recover their costs; costs being higher than anticipated and the success of our policies to control costs and to mitigate low energy, capacity and market prices; other legislative and regulatory changes, and revised environmental requirements, including, but not limited to, the effects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, Coal Combustion Residuals regulations, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards programs, including our estimated costs of compliance, Clean Water Act (CWA) waste water effluent limitations for power plants, and CWA 316(b) water intake regulation; the uncertainty of the timing and amounts of the capital expenditures that may arise in connection with any litigation, including New Source Review litigation, or potential regulatory initiatives or rulemakings (including that such initiatives or rulemakings could result in our decision to deactivate or idle certain generating units); the uncertainties associated with the deactivation of certain older regulated and competitive fossil units, including the impact on vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements, and as it relates to the reliability of the transmission grid, the timing thereof; the impact of other future changes to the operational status or availability of our generating units and any capacity performance charges associated with unit unavailability; adverse regulatory or legal decisions and outcomes with respect to our nuclear operations (including, but not limited to, the revocation or non-renewal of necessary licenses, approvals or operating permits by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or as a result of the incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant); issues arising from the indications of cracking in the shield building at Davis-Besse; the risks and uncertainties associated with litigation, arbitration, mediation and like proceedings, including, but not limited to, any such proceedings related to vendor commitments, such as long-term fuel and transportation agreements; 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SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.