Coal / FirstEnergy

IEEFA Update: FirstEnergy, out of step with the times, sells gas and hydro assets to shore up fading coal-fired plants

As American electricity markets modernize, an Ohio utility stays the same

CLEVELAND — “If there’s a standout feature in today’s fast-changing electricity-generation landscape, it’s that coal-fired and nuclear power plants cannot compete with those that run on natural gas or renewable energy. This will remain the case for the foreseeable future, as gas prices are projected to stay low and renewable energy prices continue to drop.

Part of what that means is that any utility that says it wants to bring down costs for its customers and remain competitive will shed coal and nuclear plants and invest in renewables and gas.

Unless that utility is FirstEnergy.

Earlier this month, the Ohio-based utility announced it had finalized the terms to sell units at five natural gas plants and one hydroelectric plant to LS Power for $825 million. The plants total 1,615 megawatts of generation capacity and are currently owned by FirstEnergy subsidiaries Allegheny Energy Supply Co. and Allegheny Energy Co.

As first reported by SNL, the energy trade publication, this month, ‘FirstEnergy said the proceeds of the sales will be invested in the company’s unregulated money pool and may be used for the repayment of debt, among other corporate purposes.'”

— Sandy Buchanan, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

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