November 7, 2016 Read More →

FirstEnergy, in Seeking a Way Forward, May Be Looking at Bankruptcy

Darren Sweeney for SNL:

FirstEnergy Corp.’s competitive business is under strategic review and could be forced to file for bankruptcy as the company seeks regulatory and legislative help for its generation resources.

“The fact is competitive generation is weighing down the rest of our company, and while we have fought hard, we cannot continue to wait for an upturn,” FirstEnergy President and CEO Charles Jones Jr. said Nov. 4 on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “Instead, a strategic review of our competitive business is underway and we are pursuing options to thoughtfully, yet expeditiously, move away from competitive markets. We will be assessing several different alternatives in the near term with the goal to implement these strategic options over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Jones said the company plans to begin pursuing legislative and regulatory support to move competitive generation into a regulated or regulated-like construct in its Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia service territories. American Electric Power Co. Inc. announced earlier this year that it will pursue legislation geared toward transforming Ohio’s deregulated electric utility market.

“We will work diligently with legislators and regulators in each of these states to assess the appetite for solutions that can benefit customers and communities, but not at the expense of extending our transition to becoming fully regulated,” Jones said.

FirstEnergy also is “open to exploring the sale of any or all of these assets,” Jones said, specifically identifying gas and hydro generation at Allegheny Energy Supply Co. In addition, the company will consider deactivating additional competitive generation units and is moving forward with adding independent board members at FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.

Full article ($): FirstEnergy’s competitive business under strategic review; bankruptcy possible

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