January 24, 2019 Read More →

Ohio power generator reaches agreement to emerge from bankruptcy

Toledo Blade:

FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. said Wednesday it has struck a tentative deal with its creditors to keep its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and its other power-generating facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania online at least through their previously announced shutdown dates.

Davis-Besse — Ottawa County’s largest employer and one of Ohio’s largest sources of tax revenue — is scheduled to shut down no later than May 31, 2020. Other nuclear facilities — the Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland and the twin-reactor Beaver Valley complex west of Pittsburgh — are scheduled to be phased out before the end of 2021 while the remaining FES coal-fired power plants are still destined to be permanently shut down by mid-2022.

The proposed agreement will form the basis of a reorganization plan that is subject to approval by Judge Alan M. Koschik of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron. The plan is expected to be filed by Feb. 8, the company said.

“This is an important step in ensuring the value of the FES estate is maximized for the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” Donald Schneider, FES president, said in a prepared statement. “It is important to note that nothing in this agreement provides for the company to continue operating its fossil or nuclear generation assets beyond their currently contemplated deactivation dates. Without legislative support and market reforms, operating beyond those dates will be a significant challenge.”

During a conference call with The Blade following the announcement, David Griffing, FirstEnergy Solutions vice president of governmental affairs, said company officials are “working like crazy trying to extend the lives of those plants” but continue to get little response to its calls for legislative relief on the state or federal levels.

No signs of a buyer or bailout have emerged yet. FES and its parent, FirstEnergy Corp., have lobbied for relief from record-low natural gas prices for years.

More: Deal could keep Davis-Besse online until at least May 31, 2020

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