FirstEnergy to sell or close 1,300-MW coal-fired plant

Allegheny Energy Supply, a subsidiary of investor-owned FirstEnergy, on Feb. 16 notified the PJM Interconnection of its plan to deactivate the coal-fired Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island, West Virginia. 

The 1,300-megawatt plant will be sold or closed on Jan. 1, 2019, FirstEnergy said. The plant deactivation is subject to PJM's review for reliability impacts, if any.

FirstEnergy noted that its subsidiary Mon Power filed a plan in March 2017 seeking regulatory approval to acquire the Pleasants Power Station. The plan would have resolved a projected 10-year energy capacity shortfall and decreased electric bills for customers, according to FirstEnergy. 

But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the proposal on Jan. 12, 2018 (Docket Nos. EC17-88-000, ES18-4-000).

The Public Service Commission of West Virginia approved the sale subject to a number of significant conditions. Those conditions, combined with the FERC rejection, make the proposed transfer unworkable, FirstEnergy said.

Located along the Ohio River in Willow Island, West Virginia, Pleasants Power Station began operation in 1979. 

Since 2016, FirstEnergy has announced the sale or closure of 2,471 MW of competitive generation operated in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Following the deactivation of the Pleasants plant, the company will own or control generating capacity totaling approximately 14,795 MW from scrubbed coal, nuclear, natural gas and renewable energy facilities across Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Virginia and Illinois.

FirstEnergy said that it is continuing to complete a strategic review of its remaining competitive generating fleet.