Energy / FirstEnergy

Power grid manager PJM to Energy Department: There is no emergency

CLEVELAND — “Power grid manager PJM Interconnection on Friday urged the U.S. Department of Energy not to take extraordinary action ordering subsidies to keep uncompetitive coal and nuclear power plants operating.

FirstEnergy’s power plant subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), asked the DOE for the action on Thursday morning, about 18 hours after informing PJM and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it would close its three nuclear power plants within three years.

The Akron-based company relied on a rarely used clause in the Federal Power Act authorizing the DOE to take extraordinary action to keep power plants running — and the grid stable — during extreme emergencies such as an act of war.

PJM Interconnection is the federally approved manager of the high-voltage electric grid and wholesale power markets in Ohio, 12 other states and Washington, D.C.

‘PJM can state without reservation there is no immediate threat to system reliability,” wrote Vincent Duane, senior vice president and general counsel.  “Indeed, the FES units that announced their expected retirement earlier this week, by their own disclosures, will  remain operational in most cases until through May 2021.'”

— John Funk, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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