Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy / Renewable Energy

As Ohio legislature regroups, power plant subsidy debate to continue

Ohio Statehouse (Wikimedia Commons)

COLUMBUS — “As the Ohio legislative session resumes next month, subsidies for nuclear generation and 1950s-era coal plants are expected to once again be on the table.

Other pending electricity bills deal with renewable energy, energy efficiency, corporate separation of utilities and consumer protections. The outcome could shape Ohio’s electricity profile for decades to come.

‘I anticipate that OVEC will be up first,’ said House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), referring to House Bill 239. Seitz chaired the House Public Utilities Committee through its last hearings in June. Robert Cupp (R-Lima) was named to succeed him in July.

OVEC is the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation. Its shareholders include Dayton Power & Light and subsidiaries of FirstEnergy, American Electric Power and Duke Energy, along with utilities in several states bordering Ohio.

HB 239 and companion Senate Bill 155 would subsidize Ohio utilities’ costs for OVEC’s two coal plants — one in Ohio and Indiana. Although both plants date back to 1955, the utilities agreed in 2011 to keep OVEC going until 2040.”

—Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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