- FirstEnergy Solutions plans to deactivate the coal-fired Bruce Mansfield Unit 3 in Pennsylvania on Nov. 7, about a year and a half ahead of the previously-announced schedule.
- FES, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., made the announcement Friday; the company says the early closure is "due to a lack of economic viability in current market conditions."
- The 2.7 GW Bruce Mansfield facility was the state's largest coal-fired plant, but after four decades of operation it struggled to compete with cheaper gas-fired power. Plant stakeholders had pressed President Trump to help keep it online, but a plan hatched in 2017 to subsidize struggling fossil-fuel generators was ultimately rejected by federal regulators.
The Mansfield plant was a potential beneficiary of Trump's plan to prop up struggling coal plants, but when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected the idea, it may have been the final nail for the Beaver County facility.
"The deactivation will be safely and responsibly conducted in accordance with relevant regulations and guidelines," FES said in a statement to Utility Dive. "By November, the workforce will be reduced to a level required to complete deactivation activities."
The company said deactivation of the plant is projected to be complete by May 2020.
FES said it notified PJM Interconnection that Unit 3 will be deactivated in the first week of November; previously, FES said the deactivation date was June 1, 2021. Units 1 and 2 at Bruce Mansfield were deactivated in February of this year.
FES and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in March 2018. That case is proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
Earlier this year a federal bankruptcy judge rejected a FirstEnergy reorganization plan that would have allowed FES to abandon coal and nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania. And this month, The U.S. Department of Justice objected to another reorganization plan that would have protected FirstEnergy from FES debts.