An Update on the Recent Events Concerning The Perry Nuclear Power Plant, by Dr. Jack Thompson
While spring is always a hectic time in the school year, this year is compounded with the worries of how our District will fare considering the situation at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. So far, the moves being made by First Energy have come as no surprise. As expected, First Energy gave notice of their intent to decommission the PNPP in three years and filed bankruptcy just before the $100 million note to their bondholders came due. It is important to understand the plant will continue to fully operate and pay taxes throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. We continue to hold out hope that the plant will be purchased from First Energy.
We have been diligent in making sound financial decisions for many years and plan to continue to do so moving forward. With that said, rest assured there are no plans to make sweeping cuts in our operations. We will respond to the events that unfold in a disciplined and purposeful manner. While changes will likely be necessary in the coming years, there is no need to panic. We will continue to pursue greatness and do everything necessary to fulfill the mission of Perry Local Schools. I will communicate any new information to you as it surfaces.
Lastly, I commend Commissioner Jerry Cirino for his vigilant efforts to keep the PNPP open. Below is a recent post from his Facebook page and I encourage you to follow him to stay informed.
Jerry Cirino Facebook post:
Now that the Notice to Decommission and the bankruptcy have been filed, we can now focus on the ultimate solution: Making Perry cost effective enough to attract a new operator.
This past Tuesday, the Bankruptcy Court of Hon. Judge Alan Koschik held the first of what will be many hearings in Akron. I have read all of the Court documents and Motions. They are available on the Court's site. The case number is 18-50757. In summary, First Energy Solutions extended Motions to be able to continue operating the plants and to be authorized to continue paying all taxes and fees. This is a good move in the short term for all of the various tax authorities. The way Chapter 11 is structured, FES is considered a ‘debtor-in-possession’ meaning that they are retaining the assets and operating while this process continues. The Judge granted their motion to make tax payments on an expedited basis.
There will be many, many more hearings as this process continues. We plan on making a petition to the Court regarding a ‘Community Impact Statement’ just to make sure that he understands what a closure would mean to Lake County .
In a related matter, the President is reported to be considering allowing Secretary Perry to invoke Section 202c of the Federal Energy Act to keep the plants operating. This would take it out of the hands of FERC and PJM. I will keep everyone posted on the progress with this.
Lastly, many people around the County have told me they think the battle is over…and that we have lost. That could not be more incorrect. We are pursuing a number of options and this is FAR from over. Keep optimistic and pass this message on to everyone you can.
We know that the strength of Perry lies in the members of its community. And while the fate of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant is uncertain, what is certain is that no matter what waits in the road ahead, this community will continue to stay strong and in turn keep the District itself strong. Go Pirates.