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Published: Thursday, 5/3/2012

FirstEnergy will not idle 3 coal-fired Ohio plants

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

AKRON -- FirstEnergy Corp. says three coal-fired power plants in northeast Ohio will not be shut down this year after all, saving an undetermined number of jobs.

The new plan does not affect the Bay Shore plant in Oregon, where three of the four generators will close Sept. 1 as previously announced.

FirstEnergy, the parent company of Toledo Edison, will not be permitted to immediately close its smaller plants in Ashtabula, Eastlake, and Cleveland. PJM Interconnection, the independent company that manages the high-voltage grid from Ohio to the East Coast, has determined the closings would cause major voltage inadequacies and equipment overheating in the regional grid.

But it will cost rate payers a little extra to keep the plants operating and to pay for about $1 billion in ordered upgrades to the company's high-voltage transmission system in the next three years. FirstEnergy said it could not determine the impact on rates yet.



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