On April 30, PJM (the regional transmission organization) released a report that found the closing of FirstEnergy’s three nuclear power plants will not reduce grid reliability.
The report confirms what energy experts across the industry have argued for months and what FERC reaffirmed in their January NOPR ruling – competitive markets are working. Despite FirstEnergy’s pleas for taxpayer-funded support, the reality is there is no grid emergency.
Main points from the coverage of the report below:
PJM Market Assessment Undercuts The Notion That FirstEnergy Power Plant’s Retirement Will Hurt Grid Reliability. “The PJM deactivation analysis released Monday undercuts a key argument from FirstEnergy and its allies — that allowing at-risk coal and nuclear plants to retire in wholesale power markets would undercut the reliability and resilience of the grid. PJM has consistently said that planned retirements do not present a reliability threat in the short term, and on Monday reiterated that view with respect to three FirstEnergy nuclear facilities in Ohio — the 896 MW Davis Besse plant, the 1,247 MW Perry plant and the 1,811 MW Beaver Creek facility.” (Gavin Bade, “PJM: FirstEnergy Nukes Can Retire Without Reliability Threat,” Utility Drive, 4/30/18)
PJM Report Supports The Arguments Against The Use Of DOE 202(c) Powers. “Critics of FES’ Section 202c request said PJM’s deactivation study shows that no emergency exists in PJM. ‘This is yet another reason for the Department of Energy to deny FirstEnergy’s request for a bailout,’ John Moore, director of the Sustainable [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] FERC Project at environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an email Monday. David Gaier, a spokesman with independent power producer NRG agreed, saying in an email Monday: ‘Clearly, the attempt by FirstEnergy to keep open its uneconomic nuclear plants on the backs of ratepayers is a subsidy in search of a crisis — one that doesn’t exist.'” (Jared Anderson, “PJM finds FirstEnergy Nuclear Plants Can Retire Without Threatening Reliability,” Platts, 4/30/18)
PJM Market Assessment Reaffirms That The Future Grid Is Reliable. “These findings align with PJM’s broader assessment of its future grid reliability as more and more coal and nuclear plants find themselves economically uncompetitive in the face of flat demand, cheap and plentiful natural gas, and a rising share of zero marginal-cost clean energy. It also aligns with the assessment of clean energy and environmental groups, natural gas trade groups and utilities that have invested in more natural gas generation, and the majority of energy regulators and economists, who have fought FirstEnergy’s and the Trump administration’s attempts to bail out coal and nuclear interests, largely in the PJM region.” (Jeff St. John, “PJM Says It Doesn’t Need FirstEnergy’s Nuclear Plants for Grid Reliability,” GreenTech Media, 4/30/18)