Today, the Mid-Atlantic electricity grid manager, PJM Interconnection, announced that it expects some electric reliability issues to result from FirstEnergy’s hasty announcement that it will retire the Mitchell and Hatfield’s Ferry coal-fired power plants in October. The analysis indicates that grid upgrades may be necessary in order to retire the plants on the rapid schedule proposed by FirstEnergy.
Several cost-effective solutions could meet those needs and help lower electricity bills for customers in the region. Solutions include energy efficiency, demand response (an energy management program for large power users, like factories), transmission upgrades and building new renewable energy in the region.
In response, Tom Schuster, Pennsylvania Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club made the following statement:
“FirstEnergy’s profit-driven planning, which comes at the expense of Pennsylvania’s families, is the direct cause of these issues. FirstEnergy failed to engage in meaningful planning with the workers and communities affected by their announcement and acted irresponsibly by failing to consider cost-effective solutions like wind, solar, efficiency, energy management and transmission upgrades.
The analysis is ongoing, but we know that families and businesses should not be on the hook to bail out FirstEnergy while solutions are brought online. Our state’s leaders and grid regulators must hold FirstEnergy accountable for a responsible transition that includes support for the workers and communities affected and ensures safe, reliable and affordable power for our families.
FirstEnergy failed our workers and our communities with their mismanagement of this announcement. Now, our state and regional leaders, along with FirstEnergy, must take responsibility to plan for a fair and just transition that ensures a guaranteed livelihood for workers, economic opportunities for communities and safe, affordable and reliable power for our families – without a corporate bailout.”