FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) said March 8 that its subsidiary, FirstEnergy Generation is looking to install and interconnect to the transmission system about 800 MW of new combustion turbine peaking generation at its Eastlake Plant in Eastlake, Ohio, to help ensure reliable electric service in the region.
While FirstEnergy Generation’s application for a feasibility study with PJM is the first step, if this option is implemented, the turbines may be in service by the spring of 2015 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) regulations take effect.
On Jan. 26, FirstEnergy said its competitive generation subsidiaries will retire six older coal-fired power plants, including the Eastlake Plant, in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland as a result of the new MATS regulations and other environmental regulations. The company also said the retirements are subject to PJM review for possible reliability impacts.
A preliminary PJM analysis identified reliability impacts as a result of the plants being retired, FirstEnergy said, adding that installing four new natural gas/oil-fired combustion turbines at the Eastlake Plant is one of several options the company is discussing with PJM.
FirstEnergy Generation President and Chief Nuclear Officer James Lash said in the statement that the company is continuing its “discussions with PJM regarding other steps, including transmission system enhancements, to ensure reliable electric service in northern Ohio after our power plants are retired.”
A company spokesperson told TransmissionHub March 8 that those options are being evaluated. “We will have a better idea when PJM completes its final reliability report in April,” he said. “That is when any transmission system enhancements would be announced.”