FirstEnergy / Nuclear Energy

FirstEnergy nuclear charges crucial to operating or selling Davis Besse, Perry, says CEO

Operating a nuclear power plant is expensive, whether it involves re-fueling, major renovation work like FirstEnergy faced at Davis-Besse 15 years ago shown here, or federally ordered upgrades following the disaster at Fukushima. And now the nuclear industry faces tough competition from independent builders of gas turbine plants. FirstEnergy has been seeking new customer fees to keep its nuclear plants profitable. But even with the extra charges, the company would probably sell the plants because it no longer wants to risk competitive markets (Credit: Plain Dealer file photo).

AKRON — “FirstEnergy’s top executive says the company will continue to press Ohio lawmakers for new customer-paid subsidies for its nuclear power plants even though it may not own them in the future.

‘I am going to continue to fight for this … legislation because it is the right thing to do for the state of Ohio,’ Chuck Jones, president and CEO, told financial analysts Friday in a frank discussion about the company’s future during a public teleconference to discuss second quarter financial results.

Jones also revealed that FirstEnergy is preparing to talk to creditors of its subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions, the company that owns the corporation’s old, uncompetitive power plants, which have been losing money.

FirstEnergy Solutions’ debt and the declining value of its power plants has made it a potential liability as it negotiates with its creditors amidst rumors of an eventual bankruptcy, and FirstEnergy has tried to distance itself from the subsidiary.”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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