With the hours winding down for FirstEnergy Solutions to repay its $98.9 million senior unsecured bond that matures on Monday, all signs point toward the power generating subsidiary of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. filing soon for bankruptcy protection.

FirstEnergy has warned about the possibility since November 2016, with CEO and President Charles Jones telling analysts during a conference call that “competitive generation is weighing down the rest of the company” and noting that the odds were already stacking up against FES being able to service its debt on time.

Earlier this week, the company confirmed it will move ahead with plans to retire four nuclear power plants for which it has been unable to attract a buyer.

Here are some questions and answers about what this means for FirstEnergy.

Q: Has FirstEnergy Solutions explored alternatives to a bankruptcy filing?

A: Yes. The company has sought relief through the government but has faced opposition to a plan that would help boost FES through customer rate increases. And, just this week, FES formally requested emergency help from the U.S. Department of Energy, asking for aid under a rarely used provision for national crises.

FirstEnergy also put its nuclear power plants on the market in February 2017.

In January, however, the likelihood of attracting investors further plummeted when Moody’s Investors Services downgraded FES bonds.

Q: What happens next if bankruptcy is declared?

A: Chapter 11 bankruptcy provides FES the opportunity to try to restructure its nearly $3 billion debt and/or reorganize to try to limit the losses to investors. In an FES default, bondholders could lose 50 to 70 percent of their investments. No matter how the reorganization is achieved, FirstEnergy Corp. has made it clear that it no longer wants to be burdened by FirstEnergy Solutions.

Q: Does this mean nuclear power plants will vanish from the region, and how many jobs does that affect?

A: Not necessarily. Buyers could still emerge for Perry in Lake County, Davis-Besse near Toledo and the twin Beaver Valley plants in western Pennsylvania to keep those facilities operational. And the plan to close them still must be approved by PJM Interconnection, the regional power transmission overseer. About 2,300 workers are employed at those plants.

Q: Why is power generation a drag on FirstEnergy Corp.?

A: The natural gas boom and increasing use of renewable energy have combined in recent years to squeeze the nation’s aging nuclear reactors, which are expensive to operate and maintain. FirstEnergy, meanwhile, has said it is working to become a fully regulated electric utility.

Q: If FirstEnergy Corp. is trying to exit power generation, what is it that the company does?

A: FirstEnergy considers itself primarily a power transmission company — focused on delivering electricity to more than 6 million customers served by its 10 regulated distribution companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. It maintains a vast system of more than 269,000 miles of distribution lines.

Q: Is FirstEnergy Corp. in trouble, too?

A: Jones emphasized at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last May that FirstEnergy Corp. itself is not in danger of bankruptcy despite the looming possibility for subsidiary FES.

At that time, Jones also affirmed his commitment to keeping the company anchored here.

“I come to work every day with the goal of keeping FirstEnergy headquartered in Akron,” he said.