Energy / FirstEnergy

FirstEnergy executive: Davis-Besse plant headed for premature closure

FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

OAK HARBOR — “A FirstEnergy Corp. executive confirmed Thursday what many people have feared for months: The utility’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant is headed for a premature closing.

The outlook for FirstEnergy’s coal-fired power plants and its other nuclear plants — its twin-reactor Beaver Valley nuclear plant west of Pittsburgh and its Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland — is just as bleak, said James Pearson, FirstEnergy’s chief financial officer.

While no date has been set for the permanent closing of Davis-Besse or other plants yet, Mr. Pearson said their days under FirstEnergy ownership have become numbered and they are ‘probably impossible to sell in today’s market,’ especially in states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania that have deregulated electricity markets.

Both of those states embraced deregulation in 1996, a decade before a global fracking boom brought on by a revolutionary horizontal drilling technique resulted in record-low natural gas prices. That, along with growing investments in wind and solar power that dropped prices for the renewable energy sector, made nuclear and coal non-competitive.”

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

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