Citing a serious threat to the stability of the electric grid, FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. (FES) called on US Energy Secretary Rick Perry to issue an emergency order directing PJM Interconnection (PJM), the regional transmission organization, to immediately begin negotiations to secure the long-term capacity of certain nuclear and coal-fired plants in the region and to compensate their owners “for the full benefits they provide to energy markets and the public at large, including fuel security and diversity.”
FES filed an application for an order under Section 202c of the Federal Power Act, which gives the Secretary of Energy extraordinary powers to confront such emergencies.
The threat, FES said, is caused by the premature retirement of plants that have many years of useful life but cannot operate profitably under current market conditions. The retirement of such “at-risk” plants is accelerating, the company said. On March 28, 2018, for example, FES notified PJM and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that its two nuclear plants in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania, with combined capacity of 4,048 megawatts, would be deactivated over the next three years.