Coal, Emissions, O&M, Policy & Regulations

FirstEnergy may Deactivate Ohio Coal-Fired Units

Bay Shore coal-fired power plant

FirstEnergy Solutions, a unit of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), announced it will deactivate coal-fired units at two of its Ohio power plants.

The company will sell or deactivate the 136-MW Bay Shore Unit 1 in Oregon, Ohio, by October 2020. Units 1-4 at the seven-unit W.H. Sammis Plant in Ohio, representing a total generating capacity of 720 MW, will be retired in May 2020. Units 5-7 will continue to generate 1,490-MW of electricity. Bay Shore Units 2-4 were deactivated in 2012 based on the impact of environmental rules.

FirstEnergy does not expect there to be any job reductions at either plant, and the utility said it will work with any potential buyer to discuss continued employment for the 78 workers at Bay Shore and the 368 employees at Sammis. If Bay Shore is deactivated, the company will provide them with job opportunities at other FirstEnergy facilities. PJM Interconnection will first review the deactivations for any reliability issues. The company said it will not offer these units into the PJM capacity auction for the 2020-2021 timeframe.

“We have taken a number of steps in recent years to reduce operating costs of our generation fleet,” said FirstEnergy Generation President Jim Lash. “However, continued challenging market conditions have made it increasingly difficult for smaller units like Bay Shore and Sammis Units 1-4 to be competitive. It’s no longer economically viable to operate these facilities.”

In 2015, Bay Shore 1 and Sammis 1-4 contributed about 4 percent of the electricity produced by the company’s generating plants.