FirstEnergy Knocks $100M Off Sale Price of 4 PA Gas Power Plants

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. Last November the company announced it wants to sell five power generating plants, four of them natural gas-fired plants in Pennsylvania, plus a hydroelectric plant in Virginia (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 12 months. Last December FirstEnergy announced they had found a buyer, LS Power Equity Partners, willing to pay $885 million (later revised to $925 million) for the whole package (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, negotiating the finer points of the deal has been “a challenge” and now FirstEnergy says in order to complete the deal, they’re willing to lower the price to $825 million…
Continue reading

40 Ohio Groups Band Together to Oppose FirstEnergy’s Nuke Bailout

In April, MDN brought you news of an effort underway in Ohio to tax Ohio ratepayers $5.4 billion and give that money to FirstEnergy to prevent some of its nuclear power plants from closing (see OH Law Would Bailout Nuke Plants for $5.4B, Kill NatGas Plants). Given stiff regulations, nuke plants face stiff competition in the free marketplace. Natural gas-fired plants are cheaper to build and operate, and deliver cheaper electricity. Since nukes can’t compete in the free and open market, FirstEnergy wants to rig the game, all in the name of “energy diversity” and keeping their nuke plants open (and investors happy). Rate-paying Ohioans get screwed in the process. Some 40 groups have banded together for form the Coalition Against Nuclear Bailouts. Some are big groups, some are individuals. They are diverse. For example, the far-left AARP (disgusting organization) is in the coalition. So too is the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). Plus some pastors of churches, and local politicians. Feels kind of weird to support an organization with groups like the AARP in it. But perhaps the enemy of my enemy is my friend. At least in this case. It is, truly, a nonpartisan (or should we say bipartisan) coalition that has risen up to fight the nuclear bailout…Continue reading

FirstEnergy Upgrading W PA Electric Grid, Some Benefit for Shale

FirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. We’ve reported on a number of projects launched by FirstEnergy to assist the shale industry–running power lines to natural gas processing plants, etc. (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy has just announced another $235 million of upgrades/investments in its West Penn service area. Some of those upgrades are targeted at serving the shale industry. But FirstEnergy is conflicted. Although it loves to help midstream companies and drillers by selling them electricity, it doesn’t like it when private, independent (and competitive) companies actually produce the electricity, from shale gas, that competes with FirstEnergy’s own electric supplies. In Ohio, FirstEnergy is attempting to get the state to re-regulate the electric industry to freeze out new natgas-fired electric plants (see OH Fight to Re-Regulate Electric Industry – Impacts on Shale). So although FirstEnergy professes its love of the shale industry, it’s a conditional love…
Continue reading

Buyer of FirstEnergy’s PA NatGas Power Plants Revealed

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. In November the company announced it wants to sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. In December FirstEnergy announced they found a buyer willing to pay $885 million for the four natgas plants in PA (see FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants). However, the buyer’s identity remained a secret–until now. LS Power Equity Partners III LP, a New York-based power developer, is the buyer of the four natgas-fired electric plants…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Finds Buyer for 4 PA NatGas-Fired Power Plants

FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. In November the company announced it wants to sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants (see FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA). The plants being sold are non-regulated–part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. Good news: FirstEnergy found a buyer willing to pay $885 million for the four natgas plants in PA…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Flips the Switch on New Marcellus Power Line

FirstEnergyFirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy loves the shale industry. We told you in December 2014 that FirstEnergy was planning to invest $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). FirstEnergy’s construction crews have begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV in April (see FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry). Great news! FirstEnergy flipped the switch on the new line and the electric is now flowing…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Selling 4 NatGas-Fired Electric Plants in PA

for-sale-sign.jpgThe energy industry in our country is complicated and takes a while to wrap your brain around just how it works. Especially the utility industry. Companies that produce and then distribute electricity (and natural gas) are in some cases regulated by the government–meaning what they charge is strictly controlled–and in some cases not regulated. Some local utilities produce the electricity, via a nuclear plant, or coal-fired generating plant, or natural gas-fired plant, as well as distribute that electricity to customers. Other utilities just distribute the electricity. And still others just produce the electricity. Sometimes producing electricity is regulated by the government (i.e. price controlled) and other times it is not. Is your head spinning yet? FirstEnergy, based in Akron, OH, is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy owns a variety of regulated and non-regulated power generation plants. Last Friday the company announced it will sell six power generating plants in PA, four of them natural gas-fired plants. The plants being sold are non-regulated. This is part of FirstEnergy’s strategy to become a 100% “regulated” utility in the next 18 months. Which plants are going on the auction block?…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Installs $92M Electric Line in WV for Shale Industry

FirstEnergy
FirstEnergy building new electric line in WV – click for larger image

FirstEnergy is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. FirstEnergy loves the shale industry. We told you in December 2014 that FirstEnergy was planning to invest $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV (see FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus). Good news: FirstEnergy’s construction crews have begun erecting steel poles for a new 18-mile high voltage power line that will run through Harrison and Doddridge counties in WV. The new power line will help power both processing plants and compressor stations that flow Marcellus and Utica Shale gas…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Working Like Crazy to Clean Up Future OH Cracker Site

In June FirstEnergy Corp. kind-of, sort-of confirmed that their now-closed R.E. Burger power plant site in Belmont County, OH would be the location for the future PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker plant (see FirstEnergy Confirms Their Site is Future Home of OH Cracker). FirstEnergy has gone from being cagey and reticent to admit theirs is the site that will be used, to frenetic activity/can’t get it cleaned up fast enough. They are hauling out old coal power plant equipment and working to turn the brownfield site into a greenfield site within a year–to have it ready to sell to PTT sometime in 2016. Here’s what they’re currently doing at the site to get it ready…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Building $63M WV Electric Substation for NatGas Plant

questionFirstEnergy Corp., an electric utility operating in the Appalachian region, announced yesterday they will construct a new substation near Smithfield, WV along with a new two-mile transmission line–in order to send more electricity to a nearby natural gas processing plant. FirstEnergy is spending $63 million to build the new substation and transmission line. The announcement doesn’t name the owner of the natgas processing plant, but we have a guess…
Continue reading

300 Acres Next to FirstEnergy Site Part of Belmont Cracker Plan

nextdoor neighborA few more details about the proposed site for an ethane cracker plant in Belmont County (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). The proposed site is the existing 130-acre R.E. Burger Plant, a coal-fired electric generating plant owned and operated by Ohio utility company FirstEnergy (see FirstEnergy Says Talk of Selling Land for OH Cracker “Premature”). However, we now know that the $5.7 billion chemical complex, to be built by Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical, will require far more than 130 acres. The new ethane cracker facility will require something like 450-500 acres. So where will the other land surrounding the R.E. Burger Plant come from? The nextdoor neighbor…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Confirms Their Site is Future Home of OH Cracker

More cracker plant talk. Yesterday we told you that Shell has received the air quality permit they need from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (see Shell Receives Air Quality Permit from PA DEP for Cracker Plant), moving that ethane cracker plant project significantly closer to reality. We also told you that the president and CEO of Odebrecht, the Brazilian company planning to build a cracker plant in WV, has been arrested in a bribery scandal (see Odebrecht CEO Arrested; What Does it Mean for WV Cracker Plant?), making that ethane cracker project less likely, in our humble opinion. The third major ethane cracker in the Marcellus/Utica is planned for Belmont County, OH. PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, with financial backing from Marubeni Corporation, a Japan-based company conglomerate, plans to build a cracker plant complex in Ohio (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). It has been an “open secret” the site for the plant would be at FirstEnergy Corp’s R.E. Burger power plant site along the banks of the Ohio River. FirstEnergy has, until now, denied they are selling the site. But a FirstEnergy official in a round-about way has just confirmed that yes, IF the cracker plant project gets built, it likely will get built at the R.E. Burger site…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Says Talk of Selling Land for OH Cracker “Premature”

Two weeks ago MDN brought you the good news that two foreign companies–one from Thailand and the other from Japan–are teaming up with the aim of building a $5 billion ethane cracker plant in Belmont County, OH (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). A day later we shared with you Belmont County’s enthusiasm for the project, and our own “cracker fatigue” (see Belmont County Elated with Cracker Plant Announcement (Drip)). These projects take years and have more ups and downs than a roller coaster. It seems our words of advice to temper enthusiasm for this new project are already bearing out. Utility company FirstEnergy owns the land where the cracker plant would, theoretically, be built. FirstEnergy is saying wait a minute, we haven’t agreed to sell that land to anybody…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Investing $100M in Electric Projects for WV Marcellus

FirstEnergy, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, is the parent of Mon Power, an electric utility serving 385,000 customers in 34 West Virginia counties. FirstEnergy announced last week they’re investing $100 million in new electric transmission projects to service the growing Marcellus and Utica Shale industry in WV. The projects include new high voltage power transmission lines and substations to serve natural gas processing plants (and other gas operations) in the region. As a consequence, not only will the Marcellus industry benefit, so too will local electric customers in WV…
Continue reading

FirstEnergy Builds Electric Substation for MarkWest WV Plant

Seems to be “electric day” on MDN. We’re noticing several stories about the electric industry’s tie-in with the Marcellus drilling industry. FirstEnergy Corp. announced Wednesday they are building a new $36 million electric substation in Doddridge County, WV to support the Marcellus Shale industry–specifically the nearby electric needs of the MarkWest Sherwood natural gas processing facility. However, an additional 6,000 residents will also benefit from the substation and power line being built…
Continue reading

LS Power Threatens to Pull $500M OH Project if Nukes Get Subsidies

LS Power, which owns a number of competitive power generation projects including the 700 megawatt dual-fuel simple cycle Troy Generating Facility located in Luckey, OH, is threatening to pull a $500 million plan to expand the Troy facility if Ohio proceeds to pass a new law subsidizing the state’s two nuclear plants. The subsidies would create an uneven playing field for natural gas-fired electric plants like the Troy facility.
Continue reading