Energy / FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy Solutions’ bankruptcy filing sparks concern about future

FirstEnergy’s downtown Akron headquarters.

CLEVELAND — “FirstEnergy’s efforts to re-make itself into a delivery-only electric utility — and maybe shed its power plant subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions — has many people worried that power plants will shut down and Ohio will run short of electricity.

The entire future is uncertain, but what’s known right now is that subsidiary FES is loaded down with billions of dollars of debt and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring and protection from thousands of creditors.

Whether FES succeeds without creditors managing to drag the corporate parent into the case is still unknown. And whether FES continues to exist after the bankruptcy case, filed last weekend, is over is also an unknown. But keep in mind that the FES bankruptcy is not a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.

FES was incorporated as the FirstEnergy Service Co. in 1997 under another name and did not become FirstEnergy Solutions until 2001, according to state records,  just about the time Ohio’s deregulation law kicked in, giving customers the choice to shop competing retail suppliers.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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