Senate committee to hold hearing on planned power plant shutdowns
FirstEnergy Corp’s Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station on the banks of the Monongahela River
Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter
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State Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, announced Friday that the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee has accepted his request to hold a hearing to examine the effects that the planned shutdown of two local power plants could have on the overall reliability of the electric grid and on consumers.
The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 13 in the third floor conference room of the Stover Campus Center at Waynesburg University.
In July, FirstEnergy Corp. announced its intention to close the Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Greene County and Mitchell Power Station in Washington County, citing the cost of complying with new federal regulations.
“There are still some critical questions about how the closure of these two plants could affect electric consumers in the region,” Solobay said. “The plants produce 10 percent of FirstEnergy’s power output, and it is still unclear how customers will be affected.”
Representatives of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, FirstEnergy and PJM Interconnection are scheduled to appear and answer questions about the planned closure, which will directly affect 380 jobs and indirectly affect thousands more.
“The hearing is another step in the effort to ensure that we are doing everything we can to examine the potential consequences of the closing and try to prevent it,” Solobay said. “It’s an important issue for the region, and I’m grateful that the committee chairs recognized that.”
The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee is chaired by Sen. Robert M. Tomlinson, a Bucks County Republican. The Democratic chairwoman is Sen. Lisa Boscola of Northampton County.
Solobay is a member of the committee along with Sen. Matt Smith of Mt. Lebanon and Sen. Jim Ferlo of Pittsburgh.