Energy Harbor said it plans to sell or deactivate the remaining coal-fired units at two of its plants in route to becoming carbon-free by the end of next year. 

The Akron, Ohio-based company said it would divest more than 3,000 MW of generating capacity. This includes Units 5-7 of W.H. Sammis Power Station in Stratton, Ohio, representing 1,694 MW; and Units 1 and 2 of Pleasants Power Station in Willow Island, West Virginia, which provides 1,368 MW.

Energy Harbor also plans to sell or deactivate four diesel-fired units at Sammis, representing 12.5 MW.

The company has filed deactivation notices with PJM Interconnection for all of the affected generation and is waiting a final review. Both Sammis and Pleasants will continue normal operations between now and June 2023. The company is also working to divest other non–core, ancillary properties related to its fossil business.

In 2018, Energy Harbor, then a FirstEnergy Corp. subsidiary called FirstEnergy Solutions, announced plans to deactivate Sammis units 5-7 by 2022. The company scrapped that deactivation notice following Ohio’s passage of a bailout bill which allowed FirstEnergy’s utilities in the state to receive guaranteed amounts equal to 2018 revenues.

The bailout legislation, Ohio House Bill 6, was repealed, however, after FirstEnergy was charged with conspiracy amid claims that utility executives bribed state officials, including then-House Speaker Larry Householder. Householder and co-defendant Matt Borges, a former Ohio Republican Party chair, have said they are innocent and are scheduled to face trial on the charges in January 2023.

According to a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in October, Energy Harbor said intended to retire units 5-7 by the end of 2028. A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about why Energy Harbor decided to move up the timeline by five years.

The W.H. Sammis Power Station began operating in 1960 with its first two coal-fired units. Two more units came online in 1962. Units 5, 6 and 7 came online in 1967, 1969 and 1971, respectively. Energy Harbor closed Sammis Units 1-4 in 2020.

Pleasants Power Station began operating in 1979. In 2018, it was announced the West Virginia plant would stay open until June 2022, after a previous announcement that it would close in early 2019. The new deactivation date allowed the plant to remain operating until it transferred from FirstEnergy’s Allegheny Energy Supply to FirstEnergy Solutions as part of a settlement agreement.

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