FirstEnergy Unloading Five Plants in Virginia and Pennsylvania

As part of its ongoing drive to exit competitive power markets, FirstEnergy Corp. said on January 23 that it has agreed to sell four natural gas–fired power plants in Pennsylvania and its competitive share of a pumped-storage hydroelectric plant in Virginia to private equity firm LS Power Equity Partners III.

FirstEnergy announced last year that it would move to sell all of its generating assets that operated in competitive markets. This comprises about 13 GW of capacity in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland. The deal this week includes the following plants:

  • Springdale Generating Facility Units 1–5 (638 MW) in Springdale Township, Pa.
  • Chambersburg Generating Facility Units 12–13 (88 MW) in Guildford Township, Pa.
  • Gans Generating Facility Units 8–9 (88 MW) in Springhill Township, Pa.
  • Hunlock Creek (45 MW) in Hunlock Creek, Pa.
  • Bath County Hydro (FirstEnergy’s share is 713 MW) in Warm Springs, Va.

Pending approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. FirstEnergy previously sold another 11 hydroelectric plants to the same firm in 2014.

Nine other plants remain in FirstEnergy’s competitive business unit, including the Beaver Valley, Davis-Besse, and Perry nuclear plants. The fate of those three plants—which total about 4 GW all together—has not been determined. FirstEnergy’s CEO suggested at an industry conference in December that Davis-Besse could be shuttered if a buyer is not found. The company sought regulatory support for the plant from Ohio regulators, but a deal that could have saved the plant was blocked by FERC last April.

—Thomas W. Overton, JD is a POWER associate editor (@thomas_overton, @POWERmagazine).

Photo of Springdale Generating Facility courtesy FirstEnergy