FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy  received approval for their merger from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. This is the final regulatory approval needed to close the transaction. Approval came with conditions attached.

The Commission voted 3-2 to approve a joint motion by Commissioners Robert F. Powelson and John F. Coleman to begin a statewide investigation to ensure that a properly functioning and workable competitive retail electricity market exists in the state, in addition to adding provisions to the Code of Conduct Rulemaking currently being considered, and requiring FirstEnergy to coordinate to address operational issues.

The Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a motion by Wayne E. Gardner adding conditions to the merger related to protecting financial and operational stability. Chairman James H. Cawley issued a dissenting statement, agreeing to many of the additional requirements imposed on the merger applicants, but stating that additional conditions to mitigate future retail and wholesale market  power should have been imposed.  Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy issued a dissenting statement.

Together, the merged companies will include 10 electric distribution utilities serving six million customers; approximately 24,000 MW of generating capacity; 67,000 square miles of service territory with operations in seven states; approximately $48 billion in assets; and $16 billion in annual revenues.

Read more news and features on the business of power generation.