Friday, February 16, 2018

Another power plant on Ohio River could close

FirstEnergy Corp. said today its Pleasants Power Station, commonly known as Willow Island, will be retired at the end of this year, pending regulatory approvals.

The company's Allegheny Energy subsidiary had tried to move the plant from Ohio's deregulated market to West Virginia's regulated market. The West Virginia Public Service Commission had approved the plan with conditions, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected it. FirstEnergy had previously said it would not appeal either decision.

The retirement would take about 1.3 million megawatts of power off the grid. The plant produced 6,893,553 megawatts of electricity last year in 2016, down from 7,047,532 the year before. Last year's output was the lowest since the recession year of 2009, and other than that, its lowest since 2004.

Last year The plant burned about 7 million tons of coal, down from 8.56 million tons in 2016 2014.

If announced retirements were to go through, Pleasants' shutdown would be the third on the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the space of twelve months. Dayton Power & Light had previously announced plans to retire the J.M. Stuart and Killen stations, both in Adams County, Ohio, this summer.

(to be updated)