Ohio consumers could pay $300M through electric bill fees under new plan

Ohio consumers would pay $300 million through new fees in their electric bills to create a new pot of state money — more than half of which could go to bailout two nuclear power plants along Lake Erie.

At a Friday press conference, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, detailed legislation he is pushing to eliminate surcharges electricity customers currently pay for energy efficiency, peak demand and renewable energy, which he says aren’t accomplishing goals.

...FirstEnergy Solutions and its allies have been looking for a bailout to keep open the plants, which generate about 18.3 million megawatts of zero carbon emission power each year.

Householder’s energy bill, which will be assigned to a committee next week, was immediately met with criticism from the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and Ohio Consumers Power Alliance as a consumer-funded bailout of aging nuclear power plants that does little to promote renewable energy from wind and solar.

'The entire intent of this bill is to bailout the two nuclear power plants,' said Tracy Sabetta, a consultant to Ohio Consumers Power Alliance. Under the legislation language, no existing solar farm in Ohio would qualify for grants under the new program, she said."

read more


Davis-Besse remains in limbo after bankruptcy judge strikes down FirstEnergy plan

TOLEDO — "It’s back to the drawing board for FirstEnergy Corp. and its subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions, now that a federal bankruptcy judge has struck down an important part of the utility company’s proposed restructuring plan.

The plan attempted to free the parent company of liability for mounting losses for the division of the firm that controls FirstEnergy’s unprofitable coal-fired and nuclear power plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ottawa County.

FirstEnergy Solutions, which has been assigned to take on the debt and operations of those plants, responded by saying it expects to submit a revised disclosure statement for its reorganization plan. The filing will be with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron overseeing its Chapter 11 restructuring."

— Tom Henry, Toledo Blade

read the full article


Ohio bill would create ‘clean air’ fund to benefit nuclear, excluding wind and solar

The draft legislation would create a new surcharge, with proceeds distributed to power plants that “make a significant contribution toward minimizing emissions.”

COLUMBUS -- "Legislation to subsidize two FirstEnergy Solutions nuclear power plants in Ohio is about to surface in the Ohio House.

Republican majority leaders have been circulating a proposal that would add up to $300 million annually to electric bills across the state, creating a state 'clean air program' with grants administered by political appointees.

About $180 million would be earmarked for the FirstEnergy Solutions nuclear power plants, say analysts who have looked at the legislation. The remaining $120 million could be used to prop up other companies — though it appears those companies would not be owners of wind and solar farms.

The draft legislation, obtained by the Energy News Network, would add a $2.50 per month surcharge to every residential customer’s bill, a $20 per month surcharge to every commercial customer’s bill and a $250 monthly charge to every industrial customer’s bill."

-- John Funk, Energy News Network

read the full article