The regional operator of the MidAtlantic power grid has said the closure of three nuclear units totaling 4,048 MW in Ohio and Pennsylvania will not threaten electric reliability, though some transmission projects may need to be accelerated to connect new supply. The results of PJM’s reliability study released April 30 undercut the argument by owner FirstEnergy that the plants are needed to supply reliable, affordable, carbon-free generation. The utility has asked the U.S. Energy Dept. to use emergency powers to force PJM to buy power from its nuclear and coal plants. The DOE is considering the request. FirstEnergy has filed for Chapter 11 protection. On April 25, FirstEnergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission it would begin closing plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2020.
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