FirstEnergy to delay steam generator installation at Beaver Valley

FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) officials said July 29 that they are delaying a steam generator replacement project at Unit 2 of the Beaver Valley nuclear plant from 2020 until 2023.

FirstEnergy officials said during a regular quarterly earnings call that the current steam generator system at the nuclear facility in Pennsylvania is in good shape.

After the earnings call, a FirstEnergy spokesperson provided GenerationHub with more detail.

“Yes, we have continued to monitor the condition of the steam generators and reactor head and Beaver Valley Unit 2, and they are in good condition,” the spokesperson said. “As a result, we will plan replacement for 2023. The original project date had been 2017; we deferred it to 2020 in 2014 after our inspections showed the equipment remained in good, safe, reliable condition,” the spokesperson said.

FirstEnergy has not publicly shared a cost estimate on the replacement project.

During the earnings call with financial analysts, FirstEnergy President and CEO expressed much frustration at having to prematurely retire baseload coal resources. Jones also said that FirstEnergy wants to preserve as much nuclear and coal baseload capacity as is feasible.

Beaver Valley Units 1 and 2 are both pressurized water reactors (PWRs) located in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. Each unit can generate about 900 MW. Unit 2 is the older of the two units, having been commissioned during the 1970s.

The nuclear units are run by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. The Beaver Valley nuclear station had a capacity factor of more than 91% during 2014, according to GenerationHub data.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.