FirstEnergy Corporation of Ohio announced last week that it would continue operating three coal-fired power plants previously scheduled to be closed by September, after its Mid-Atlantic regional grid operator determined the plants are needed to maintain grid reliability. The company announced plans in January and February to retire nine older plants this fall rather than upgrade them to comply with new environmental regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agencyʼs mercury rule. In a May 1 quarterly earnings conference call, company executives said that they have reached an agreement with PJM Interconnection LLC to continue operating the three plants on a “reliability must run” basis until the first quarter of 2015.